27 Jul

Map of the Week: Colorado River Day

Saturday, July 25th, was Colorado River Day. The Colorado River provides water for seven states in the west. The river is being affected by pollution and drought. Over 30 million people rely on the Colorado River every day, and many crops that are distributed around the country come from this area. More than 100 dams exist to generate electricity and collect water for agriculture and municipal water. Some of the water collected is also distributed to Mexico. Without this river the landscape of the west would be drastically different. Climate change and increasing populations will continue to threaten the water quality and levels.

Below is a map showing the distribution of the water allotments among the US states:

CO River Allotment

State Million acre·ft/year
Colorado 3.86
Utah 1.71
Wyoming 1.04
New Mexico 0.84
Arizona 2.85
California 4.4
Nevada 0.3

Click on this National Geographic Map to see a visualization of the dams and river flows over the years:

CO River Dams


Written by Elise Mazur and Christopher Ewell, 7/27/2015