Colorado River Report
The iconic Colorado River and its tributaries may be the most heavily managed and legally contested in the world. The Colorado River basin provides at least part of the water supply for an estimated 35 million people in one of the driest regions of North America, irrigates millions of hectares of productive farmland and pasture, and attracts millions of visitors to the Grand Canyon and other landmarks. Yet the intensively managed and diverted river carries a heavy burden, with several aquatic and riparian species extirpated throughout most of their former habitat and increasing challenges facing human users as demand continues to grow while supply is projected to shrink due to climate change. In the past fifteen years, stakeholders and managers have crafted a remarkable set of changes to the rules and regulations governing the river, providing a model for similar basins around the world.