The most important source of water in the West is drought. Soon the lives of the 40 million people who depend on the Colorado River will change.

A group of friends from the Denver area have fun on the Colorado River, in Rancho del Rio, on July 2, 2022, near Pond. According to Save the Colorado, a nonprofit organization that works to protect and restore the Colorado River, tens of millions of people reconstruct in and near the river annually. The river flows through dozens of national parks, national recreation areas, national forests, and BLM lands, as well as state and local parks that line the river and its tributaries.
RJ Sangosti/Denver Post

PAGE, Arizona – White sandstone cliffs form a ring around Lake Powell in contrast to the red-and-honey desert rocks nearby. Evidence that water once, not all that time, filled America’s second largest reservoir.

The last time entire sections of Lake Powell here were dry It was actually called Glen Canyon. That was before the completion of the Glen Canyon Dam in 1963, which flooded the canyon and created the reservoir.

Tank water recedes due to The Colorado River is drying up. Climate scientists aren’t sure when or whether Powell will work again. Instead, hmm We expect conditions to get worse.

This likely means less water for major cities like Denver, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Phoenix and San Diego. Electricity and groceries bills are on the rise, too. Less swimming in tanks like Powell. Less boating, white water rafting, swimming. Fewer tourists.

The seven states that depend on water from the Colorado River Basin are very attractive. Hydrologists warned that this would happen for generations, though politicians and government officials either failed to listen or decided not to listen.

“They knew this was a problem, and they chose to throw the can on the road,” said Brad Udall, a water and climate scientist at Colorado State University. “They knew better and did it anyway.”

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