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the river that No longer flows into the ocean

The Colorado River is the lifeline of the American Southwest - 27 million people depend on it. Its watershed covers seven states in the United States and Mexico. With the construction of canals leading to Los Angeles and Las Vegas, all of its water is used for agriculture (Imperial Valley, ...), leisure activities (golf, ...) and drinking water; agriculture alone consumes 70%. Due to overexploitation of water from Lake Mead and Lake Powell, both reservoirs have seen over the past ten years, their capacity fall by 50%.

With global warming, desertification is accelerating in Arizona and violent winds are carrying sand dust to the San Juan mountains and others that feed the Colorado River. This dust gives a gray tinge to the snow which thus melts one to two months earlier than usual. It has been shown scientifically that this sudden increase in melting flow causes 5% overall loss of the Colorado's water. Today, the Colorado no longer reaches the sea – all the remaining water is diverted through the All-American Canal at the US-Mexican border to the Imperial Valley.

Consequently, the worst affected are nature and poor areas like the Indian reservations in Arizona. Moreover, large wetlands, such as the Colorado Delta in Mexico and also the Salton Sea in California, have received little to no water in recent decades, which has led to desertification and displacement of population.

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Colorado Map

The Colorado River is 1,450 miles long and flows from the Rocky Mountains in the USA to Mexico. Not anymore.

GEO - The Colorado

Publication by GEO France (Dec 2015)
20 pages.

- Exhibition in Paris 2016 - Teaser

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