On May 1, 2021, the river once again flowed in its delta thanks to an agreement between the United States and Mexico dubbed Minute 323. Through Oct. 11, a total of 35,000 acre-feet of water (11.4 billion gallons) will be released downstream from Morelos Dam on the U.S.-Mexico border to quench the thirst of this long-withered ecosystem.
As the temperature and population continue to rise in the southwestern United States, water becomes scarcer than ever. How did we get here?
The record-breaking drought in California is not chiefly the result of low precipitation. Three factors – rising temperatures, groundwater depletion, and a shrinking Colorado River – mean the most populous U.S. state will face decades of water shortages and must adapt.
"We thought that the picture could be pretty bad, but this was shocking."
It is the first time in sixteen years that the Colorado River…will have reached its final, natural destination.
The four largest cities that get their drinking water from the Colorado River are gearing up to pilot an innovative conservation scheme that pays farmers, industries and municipalities to reduce their use of the river’s water.
The Colorado River returns to the delta – in photos.
The crucial question for Phoenix, for the Colorado, and for the greater part of the American West is this: How long will the water hold out?