Colorado River seen as depleting regional resource
By KEN RITTER, Associated Press | December 12, 2012 | Updated: December 12, 2012 6:06pm
LAS VEGAS (AP) – The federal government isn’t going to tap the Missouri River to slake the thirst of a drought-parched Southwest, the government’s top water official said Wednesday.
But rising demand and falling supply have water managers in the arid West considering a host of other options to deal with dire projections that the Colorado River – the main water supply for a region larger than the country of France – won’t be able over the next 50 years to meet demands of a regional population now about 40 million and growing.
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar issued what he termed “a call to action” with a three-year study of the river, its flows and its ability to meet the future needs of city-dwellers, Native Americans, businesses, ranchers and farmers in seven Western states.
“We are in a troubling trajectory in the Colorado River basin, as well as the Rio Grande basin,” Salazar told reporters on a conference call outlining the math in the findings of the Colorado River Basin Water Supply and Demand Study.
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