Water is one of the most important natural resources on our earth, thus it is only natural that we find ways to properly manage and ration the water resources we have. Water management is the activity of planning, developing, distributing, and managing the use of water resources, and to better illustrate this, below is an example of water resource management in the United States.
The Colorado River
The Colorado River and the all-American canal in the South-West of the USA is an excellent example of a water resource being managed. California, a neighbouring state to Arizona and Nevada, has a very high demand for water because of its high population and for its so-called “Californian lifestyle”.
California has tried to utilise the Colorado River for its water resources by building dams along the river. California is only entitled to 58.7% of the water from the Colorado River because the US Bureau of Reclamation, which is responsible for it, set a quota called an entitlement.
The main water management strategy on the Colorado river was introduced in 1935 when the Hoover dam was built. It had three main reasons:
- Water extraction for drinking water, industry, etc.
- Hydroelectric Power (HEP)
- Flood Protection
Since the Hoover dam was built another 18 dams have been built in the Colorado river basin. Before the first dams were built on the Colorado river the seasonal fluctuations of the river were great, mainly because of storms and snowmelt. Since the water management scheme began, the fluctuations of the river have dramatically decreased thus helping to reduce flooding in the area.