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Colorado River Basin Research Paper

991 Words4 Pages

“The question of water ownership has been debated since at least ancient Rome, and today, some 2,000 years later, government, big business and Earth’s 7.125 billion (Google) and growing inhabitants are no closer to a consensus on who owns the tiny percentage of drinkable water on the planet”(ECORI). According to the Journal of Water Resources Management, private ownership of water utilities has been growing worldwide at alarming rates. “Most Americans are served by publicly owned water and sewer utilities. Eleven percent of Americans receive water from private (so-called "investor-owned") utilities. In rural areas, cooperatives often provide drinking water. Finally, up to 15 percent of Americans are served by their own wells” (Wiki). The quest …show more content…

California, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico and Wyoming have been sharing the waters of the Colorado River Basin since 1922, when they mutually entered into an agreement on how to best coexist concerning these large bodies of water. The major compromise noted was their understanding to “set limits on the water usage that they would need to live with in times of drought and short supply” (BLOG). “The major purposes of this compact was to provide for the equitable division and apportionment of the use of the waters of the Colorado River System; to establish the relative importance of different beneficial uses of water, to promote interstate comity; to remove causes of present and future …show more content…

This alternative to radically decrease the salt content of the sea water to an acceptable percentage of drinking is extremely costly, potentially environment unfriendly and involves extensive monitoring to ensure the correct levels of salt that is left behind. The largest challenge is for every “two gallons of ocean water that go in; one gallon of drinking water comes out. The leftover gallon contains super-salty brine. This doubly salty water is mixed with the city's wastewater and then piped back out to sea and spread around, about 30 miles offshore” (NPR). The price tag married to this endeavor is not only monetarily costly for the state, but may also create new environmental concerns. California residents will incur additional monthly service charges to their already large water bills, state reserves will need to be tapped into for the additional funding to run the facility. The two most looming questions though will be what energy sources will be required to fuel the plant and what the overall effect of the plant has on the sea environment once the highly toxic salt brine is returned back into the

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