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Water Officials Ponder Colorado River's Future

Western Resource Advocates

Top federal water managers are meeting with Indian tribal leaders, conservationists and officials from seven Western states that depend on water from the Colorado River.

They plan to begin hashing out rules for maximizing the overtaxed river, which was recently named the most endangered river in North America.

Tuesday’s meeting in San Diego comes amid dire predictions of looming shortages. In December, the federal government released a three-year study that found the river might not be able to meet the demands of a growing regional population over the next 50 years.

The river is crucial to some 40 million people in California, Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, Utah, New Mexico and Wyoming. Mexico also has a stake.

Amid the drought discussion, a regional environmental advocacy group has launched a new website that illustrates how cities, businesses and rafters use the Colorado River.

Western Resource Advocates created CoRiverBasin.org to showcase the Colorado River’s unique value as a source for water and outdoor recreation.

Interactive maps allow visitors to see how much water various cities use, as well as the location of power plants, dams and diversions and pipelines in the river basin. A blog discusses drought, water use restrictions, and issues affecting snowpack.

The group advocates for water conservation, but says the website’s primary goal is to educate people about the river basin.

As host of KUNC's Colorado Edition, I work closely with our producers and reporters to bring context and diverse perspectives to the important issues of the day. And because life is best when it's a balance of work and play, I love finding stories that highlight culture, music, the outdoors, and anything that makes Colorado such a great place to live.
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