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Colorado River once again--briefly--flows to the sea
June 14, 2014 11:09 PM   Subscribe


 
Thanks for posting. I really enjoyed the video.
posted by cairnoflore at 11:41 PM on June 14 [1 favorite]


Awesome project and post, thank you so much.
posted by faineant at 11:44 PM on June 14


You can see where the Colorado has been disappearing by looking at this Google satellite image (which is centered slightly west of where the Colorado's flow to the sea stops.)

HINT: Can you find the dividing border between the U.S. and Mexico by looking at the pattern of vegetation?
posted by twoleftfeet at 12:00 AM on June 15 [1 favorite]


(It's "Cortés", no "z").
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 1:17 AM on June 15


Fiction that's getting all too real: The Tamarisk Hunter by Paolo Bacigalupi.
posted by Joe in Australia at 1:47 AM on June 15 [2 favorites]


The Outside article made me cry. Really too bad that a city has had its heart torn out like that.
posted by empath at 3:14 AM on June 15 [1 favorite]


Previously
posted by dry white toast at 4:07 AM on June 15


I'd like to see the Colorado river restored to annual flow, but with the impending water shortages, I can't see it happening. We need to start rationing now, no reason why people should expect spinach out of season.
posted by arcticseal at 6:35 AM on June 15


Isn't stopping rivers from flowing causing droughts?
posted by dabitch at 6:52 AM on June 15


As with the previously, this is great news and it took an amazing process to get this far.

Isn't stopping rivers from flowing causing droughts?

Overextraction and diverting water out of a basin has a lot of negative local effects but does not cause region-wide droughts. Water rights in the west were largely apportioned at a wetter moment in history (and were over allocated even then); the recent drought has been making the scale of those errors very apparent.
posted by Dip Flash at 7:04 AM on June 15 [2 favorites]


Thanks for the map, twoleftfeet, it's quite interesting. Also interesting to go a bit north, and see the Central Valley, where much of our food is grown, and which depends on irrigation.
posted by theora55 at 7:47 AM on June 15


Twoleftfeet - at first glance I thought that map represented something politically meaningful, but on closer look I see that the southern side of the border there is occupied by the city of Mexicali, which, while significantly less green than the agricultural land north if the border, probably uses more water per square mile (?). Scanning along the border to the east and west, I don't see any such dramatic change in the vegetation in the areas away from that metro. In some places it is the southern side which is greener.
posted by OnceUponATime at 8:19 AM on June 15


You can see where the Colorado has been disappearing by looking at this Google satellite image (which is centered slightly west of where the Colorado's flow to the sea stops.)

HINT: Can you find the dividing border between the U.S. and Mexico by looking at the pattern of vegetation?


South of Calexico is the large city of Mexicali. In addition to not showing up on google satellite as green, they -- along with Tijuana -- use their Colorado River allocation for municipal purposes. Then due east of Mexicali there are sand dunes on both sides of both sides of the border. But if you look to the south and east south of Morelos Dam you'll see that there is a lot of Mexican agriculture as well. I've been around a lot of the area. The big difference is the size of the fieldss. The Mexican farms are smaller. One of outcomes of what is making flooding the area is the Mexican agriculture will adopt techniques to be more efficient with water use. The water savings will help rehab the Colorado river delta.

And Joakim, in the US the anglicized form of Cortés is most common. I usually see Sea of Cortez in English and Mar de Cortés in Spanish. Actually I will see Gulf of California/Golfo de California used as well on both sides of the border.
posted by birdherder at 8:38 AM on June 15


This seems too sensible and forward-thinking to be true... but it is! Thanks for posting - nice to have some good news on international conservation action.
posted by Sheydem-tants at 11:49 AM on June 15


Sea of Cortez in English and Mar de Cortés in Spanish

Thus listed in the US Board of Geographic Names database. Both are alternate names, of course.
posted by dhartung at 12:36 PM on June 15


Previously.
posted by MartinWisse at 12:47 PM on June 15


One particularly disgusting culprit in the death of the lower Colorado River is the gigantic Central Arizona Project, which draws water hundreds of miles through the Sonoran desert, suffering contamination, evaporation and the concentration of toxins the whole way, to distant cities so they can continue to use their vanishing, irreplaceable groundwater on their lush grassy lawns, endless golf courses, artificial lakes and outdoor evaporative coolers.
posted by George_Spiggott at 10:24 PM on June 15 [1 favorite]


It will be a good year for the Colorado - snow packs are higher than they have been in a long time and so, too, recent rainfall.

It's soggy enough that this happened.

To give you a sense of scale - that slide was 3 miles long and is 250 feet deep in places.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 7:49 AM on June 16


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