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Impacts of Surface Water Diversion

Often, the amount of water promised through rights-holder contracts exceeds the safe flow available. For example, the maximum allowable diversion of flow in the Colorado River is set at 7.5 million acre-feet per year, which is split between seven states. Because the Colorado is primarily fed by Rocky Mountain snowpack, flow in the river can fluctuate significantly between wet periods and drought. In recent drought years the river has diminished to little more than a trickle before reaching its delta and emptying into the Pacific Ocean (CRWUA, 2001).


Andy Wingo 2001-12-10