Post Carbon Fellow Sandra Postel, joined photographer and writer Peter McBride and host Neal Conan in a special broadcast from Aspen, Colo., to explain the importance of the Colorado River, why it's in peril and what is being done to help protect it.
From the discussion:
Sandra Postel, we talk about the watershed, this is an enormous area. It's not just Colorado down here to the Gulf of Cortez or the Sea of Cortez or the Gulf of California, depending on what you want to call it, but it is a huge area of the inland West.
POSTEL: Absolutely. It covers seven states, so you've got portions of Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico - we call that the Upper Basin - and then portions of Arizona and Nevada and California, the Lower Basin, and then of course Mexico, where the delta is. So it's a vast area, really a lifeline for the whole West but in particular these states.
But if you look at a map of where the water's going, it's not just the basin itself that's using the water. We now ship that water out via canal, via pipeline, to the front range in Colorado, on over to Los Angeles. So in a sense the river bleeds out of the watershed to many other parts of the country.