- August 30, 2017
- In Arizona
The Colorado River sometimes referred to as, The Yuma River, is a river that flowers through Yuma, Arizona in Yuma County. The Colorado River supplies water for 30 million people throughout the states of Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming and California. It is one of the most contested, recreated-upon, and carefully controlled rivers on Earth. The 1,450-mile-long Colorado faces growing challenges associated with increasing population, declining ecosystems, drought, and expected climate change. The River that once stretched miles wide at it’s lowest point in Yuma is now the distance of under Half a mile wide.
The Colorado River also greatly contributes to Yuma’s local agriculture farming, one of Yuma’s biggest industries. The river which spans from Wyoming to California helps to irrigate 3.5 million acres of farming land.
Grouping up in Yuma, I rarely visited the river. My perception of the “Yuma River” was a small stinky brown river. When I was about 7 years old my uncle took me to the river park now known as “Gateway Park”. I wasn’t too impressed.
The size of the river seemed small. When someone in Yuma asked if I wanted to go to the river, I automatically said no. All I could think about was the ugly beach my uncle took me to. At that time there was just a river beach and nothing else. I was the least bit interested. My family wasn’t into outdoor activities the most we did was go to El Golfo (ocean port 3 hours away in Mexico) for a day and drive home.
It wasn’t until I was in my early twenties that I began to explore other parts of the Yuma River. Thirty miles North West of Yuma is an area often referred to as The Wash. Senator’s Wash is located in California. A reservoir right across the Squaw Lake Campgrounds, a few miles lower down the river from Martinez Lake. The beautiful desert mountains pop in the background against the Colorado River. Fields of green reeds line up the river from places higher than Walter’s Camp (a point higher up the river than Martinez Lake) all the way to the Mexican-California sides.
Some fascinating facts of the Yuma River (Colorado River) are:
Each year thousand of snow birds flock to the river locations near Yuma, for the winter. Among the hundreds of species of birds the United States’s official mascot the bald eagle.
Bird watching enthusiast travel to Yuma each year to watch the hundreds of species taking habitat in river regions that protect wildlife.
Salmon used to spawn up the river from the Gulf of Mexico, it was the preferred fish for local area tribes such as The Cocopah Indian Tribe.
The Colorado River provides drinking water for over 40,000,000 people.
The water from the Colorado River provides water to help produce crops that account for 15% of all United States Crops