As severe drought in the West forces states to make drastic water cuts, Las Vegas offers a road map to making the most out of every drop of water. Since 2002, Southern Nevada has cut its Colorado River water use by 26% while its population has grown by 750,000.
“Tier Drops,” by Lisa Owens Viani. Regulations and apportioning that were set up 100 years ago are under pressure as the Colorado River shrinks. As climate change accelerates and record-breaking drought worsens, cities, tribes, and industries must prepare for a future with less water. (Online August 10)
It’s past time to get real about the Southwest’s hardest-working river.
About 40 million people rely on the Colorado River as it flows from Wyoming to Mexico. But overuse and climate change have contributed to its reservoirs drying up at such a rapid rate that the probability of disastrous disruptions to the deliveries of water and hydroelectric power across the Southwest have become increasingly likely. Now the seven states that depend on the river must negotiate major cuts in water use by mid-August or have them imposed by the federal government.
Those cuts are merely the beginning as the region struggles to adapt to an increasingly arid West. The rules for operating the river’s shrinking reservoirs expire in 2026, and those seven states must forge a new agreement on water use for farmers, businesses and cities.
Devils Garden Trail at Arches National Park is considered by many fans to be their favorite trail in the Park. View 7 Arches in this 7.8 mile heavily trafficked loop trail. The Park rates the trail as difficult.
Arches National Park lies north of Moab in the state of Utah. Bordered by the Colorado River in the southeast, it’s known as the site of more than 2,000 natural sandstone arches, such as the massive, red-hued Delicate Arch in the east. Long, thin Landscape Arch stands in Devils Garden to the north. Other geological formations include Balanced Rock, towering over the desert landscape in the middle of the park.
The Grand Canyon is a steep-sided canyon carved by the Colorado River in Arizona, United States. The Grand Canyon is 277 miles (446 km) long, up to 18 miles (29 km) wide and attains a depth of over a mile (6,093 feet or 1,857 meters).
Spent two days backpacking on the Hermit’s Rest Viewpoint to Tonto Trail to Bright Angel Trailhead in the Grand Canyon.
The dynamic interplay of soft and hard layers of stone created an open benchland at the rim of the Inner Gorge called the Tonto Platform. Easily visible from several South Rim overlooks, the greenish Tonto rocks have eroded into an obvious exception to the striking vertical cliffs that characterize most of Grand Canyon.
The Tonto Trail follows this natural trans-canyon route for 95 rough, unmaintained miles, from Red Canyon on the east to Garnet Canyon on the west. All of this makes the Tonto Trail unique among Grand Canyon pathways. Most descend from the rim towards the Colorado River, but the Tonto Trail offers passage by foot up and down the canyon, parallel to the course of the river. Because of its length, most hikers approach the Tonto Trail not as a single unit, but rather as a series of installments, breaking the route down into four or five sections defined by rim-to-river trails and the natural lay of the land.
A notable lack of reliable water makes most of the Tonto Trail a daunting, possibly dangerous, proposition, but the section between Bright Angel Trail and the Hermit Trail is blessed with three water sources hikers can count on. As a result, this segment of the Tonto Trail offers a degree of civility not found elsewhere along the trail, and it is here that most hikers get their first exposure to the unique nature of this singular trans-canyon route.
Footage from two trips to the Moab, UT area, I’ve always been fascinated by the shadows of clouds on the landscape in a time lapse. Music is from “Bonne Bay Suite” by Jem Moore on solo hammer dulcimer.
Moab is a city in eastern Utah. It’s a gateway to massive red rock formations in Arches National Park. Southwest, Canyonlands National Park features mesas and buttes carved by the Green and Colorado rivers, plus Native American rock art. Dinosaur tracks can be found at sites like Bull Canyon Overlook and Copper Ridge. In the city, collections at the Museum of Moab include dinosaur bones and archaeological artifacts.
Photographer, filmmaker, and Sony Artisan Pete McBride shares this short film “Passport Home”, a glimpse of his documentary “Into the Canyon” that is nominated for Outstanding Nature Documentary at next week’s 2020 Emmy Awards.
“For years I’ve studied the world through a lens to tell the stories of others, my own, and the magic and complexity of our shared world. But after years of documenting stories I started noticing something consistent. Wherever I framed my lenses, change revealed itself before me. The places where I had ventured and worked were facing constant challenges of overuse and destruction, of being loved to a point of permanent change.”
“It was at this point that I realized my cameras were no longer just a passport for adventure, but tools to help protect the places where we adventure – those wild places we love. Now I shoot not for likes, instead I document because I want to cherish and protect the places I love…so the next person can stand in my tracks and see the magic just like I saw it. Cameras are passports to our curiosity, our creativity, our world, and they are even tools to help protect not just far away, but our own back yards.”
For more than 80 years, the Colorado River District has been working to safeguard Western Colorado’s water resources for agriculture, recreation, industry and the environment.
From the Continental Divide to the Utah border, the Colorado River District serves more than 500,000 West Slope citizens and covers approximately 29,000 square miles – nearly one-third of the state’s total land mass.
Approximately 70% of the Colorado River’s natural flow originates on Colorado’s Western Slope.