The Hydrological Cycle

The Hydrological Cycle

Water is a precious commodity in the American West. In the 1930's the United States was in the middle of a serious depression (those of you with living grandparents ought to ask them about this period). Most of the population lived in the Eastern half of the United States. Jobs were few, life was difficult. Coal fired steam plants provided most of the energy and lots of pollution.

These conditions were the impetus to look towards the American West for further expansion, colonization and development. In order to fulfill the promise of the West, however, the land had to be reclaimed from its desert state. Hence the creation of the Bureau of Reclamation whose job it was to figure out how to harness the energy and water of the American West river system to reclaim the land from its arid state.

Their first target was the American Southwest:

and the Colorado River:

The story of the Colorado river is beautifully told, from all points of view, in the video that will be shown today entitled The Cadillac Desert Part 2: An American Nile . Pay attention to this video as the first homework assignment will deal with it.

Below is a summary of the major events, with relevant links, of the legacy of the Colorado river.

What happened to the Colorado River

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