Colorado River, Lifeline Of The West, Sees Historic Water Shortage Declaration

Kirk Siegler : npr – excerpt (excerpt) includes audio track and transcript

The first-ever shortage declaration on the Colorado River forces arid Western states to re-examine their relationship with resources many take for granted, drinking water and cheap hydroelectricity.

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

For the first time ever, the U.S. government declared a shortage on the Colorado River last week. That means states like Arizona that rely on the river for their water supply are seeing big cutbacks as a punishing drought continues in the west. The Colorado River and its tributaries are a lifeline to some 40 million people in multiple states, including in California, who rely on it for drinking water. The river also irrigates countless farms and generates lots of cheap hydropower. So a shortage on the Colorado is a big deal, and we wanted to hear more about that. We asked NPR’s Kirk Siegler to talk us through it. He covers the West and has been reporting on the Colorado River for years…(more)

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