Connecting Waterpeople

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Horseshoe Bend, originally uploaded by mrwsierra.

The Colorado River is a river in the southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico, approximately 1,450 mi (2,330 km) long, draining a part of the arid regions on the western slope of the Rocky Mountains. The natural course of the river flows into the Gulf of California, but the heavy use of the river as an irrigation source for Imperial Valley has desiccated the lower course of the river in Mexico such that it no longer consistently reaches the sea.

There are other rivers with the name Colorado River, but this one is the longest and the largest by volume. The Colorado River drains 242,900 sq mi (629,100 km2). Total flows of the river range from 20,000 cubic feet per second (570 m3/s) in droughts to 1,000,000 ft³/s (28,000 m³/s) in severe floods. With the construction of massive power dams on the lower course of the river, floods of over 70,000 ft³/s (2000 m³/s) are rare. The mean flow of the total river before diversion is 42,600 ft³/s (1206 m³/s). At full flow more runoff volume exists in this river than any other in North America except the Mississippi and Columbia.

"Colorado River." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 21 Jun 2006, 08:51 UTC. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 25 Jun 2006>.

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