科罗拉多河在很大程度上补充了灌溉用水，饮用水和水，供其他城市和社区使用，包括凤凰城，图森，拉斯维加斯，圣贝纳迪诺，洛杉矶和圣地亚哥等数百万人口。所有这六个城市（以及数百个较小的社区）都依赖于水坝和渡槽，这些水坝和渡槽将科罗拉多河水从其自然路线运输数百英里。在科罗拉多州建造了20多座主要水坝以及许多小型水坝。所有这些水坝都提供了使用的机会（主要是灌溉），并且依靠河流在自然环境下提供的栖息地，为下游的人和野生动物留下的水少得多。向公众宣传他们的用水去向，以及他们的消费者选择如何影响整体用水情况可能会在减少水的使用和浪费方面发挥作用。国家地理向我们提供有关用于生产食物和日常用品的水量的信息。例如，牛肉是最受欢迎的食物选择之一，特别是在美国，它也是每磅需要大量水生产的动物产品类型（基于种植动物的食物，饮用水，并准备它。一磅牛肉平均需要1,799加仑的水来生产。相比之下，一磅家禽平均只需要468加仑的水来生产，而一磅大豆只需要216加仑的水来制备。我们使用的一切，从食品和衣服到运输和能源，都需要大量的水。 （如果你想了解更多，并了解他们建议减少用水量，请访问国家地理的淡水倡议网站。）科罗拉多河与大多数河流相比较小，而这些河流是该地区的主要供水地区。河流的流量每年约为5立方英里。从这个角度来看，世界上最大的河流 – 亚马逊河每天排放的水量几乎相当，每年排放约1300立方英里的水，密西西比河每年排放约133立方英里的水。与其他地区的主要河流相比，科罗拉多州是一个矮人，但由于自然干旱地区的人口过剩，科罗拉多州仍然依赖于支持令人印象深刻的人口。这些地区的人口正在增长，这是所谓的“太阳带”地区的一部分，而在温带和潮湿地区，如美国东海岸，人口正在减少。许多人认为这是对大自然的操纵，令人印象深刻与否，决定必须确定水源可以处理的人数和持续时间。世界上许多地区都面临着有关水权和水资源枯竭的问题。许多自然元素甚至可能在这些问题中发挥作用，但我们可以选择在人类与水的相互作用中将扮演什么角色。海水淡化过程似乎可以很容易地解决海水附近居民的缺水问题。目前，无论是通过反渗透，汽蒸还是其他技术如多级闪蒸，这是一个昂贵的过程。这个过程也面临着足够的重大挫折，例如产生足够的能量来运行植物，存放废物（盐/盐水），以及更多地开发每种类型的过程，它可以选择成为帮助解决问题的一个重要的竞争者水资源短缺是不切实际的。为了实现这一点，更多的学生需要学习科学，了解该领域的挫折，并努力开发解决方案。
The Colorado River largely supplements irrigation water, drinking water, and water for other city and community use to millions of people including the populations of Phoenix, Tucson, Las Vegas, San Bernardino, Los Angeles, and San Diego. All six of these cities (along with hundreds of smaller communities) rely on dams and aqueducts that transport Colorado River water hundreds of miles from its natural course. More than 20 major dams have been built on the Colorado, along with many smaller dams. All of these dams provide opportunities for use (primarily irrigation), and leave considerably less water for people and wildlife downstream relying on the habitat the river provides under natural circumstances. Educating the public about where their water goes, and how their consumer choices affect the overall water situation may play a part in reducing the use and waste of water. National Geographic provides us with information about the amount of water used to produce food and everyday items. For instance, beef is one of the more popular food choices, especially in the United States, and it is also the type of animal product that requires the most amount of water to produce per pound (based on growing the animal’s food, drinking water, and preparing it). One pound of beef takes on average 1,799 gallons of water to produce. In contrast, one pound of poultry requires only 468 gallons of water on average to produce, and one pound of soybeans requires only 216 gallons of water to prepare. Everything that we use, from food and clothing to transportation and energy, requires an astounding amount of water. (If you want to find out more, and learn about what they suggest for less water use, visit National Geographic’s Freshwater Initiative site.) The Colorado River is small compared to most rivers that act as a region’s main water supply. The river’s flow is approximately five cubic miles of water annually. To put that in perspective, the world’s largest river, the Amazon, discharges almost that much every day or about 1,300 cubic miles of water every year, and the Mississippi River puts out about 133 cubic miles of water every year. The Colorado is a dwarf compared to other region’s major rivers, yet still is relied upon to support an impressive portion of the population, due to the overpopulation of a naturally dry region. Populations are growing in these areas, part of the so-called, “sun-belt” region, and declining in more temperate and wet areas, such as the East Coast of the United States. Many view this as a manipulation of nature, and impressive or not, decisions will have to made as to exactly how many people the water sources can handle and for how long. Much of the world is facing issues concerning water rights and water depletion. Many natural elements may even play a part in these issues, but we can choose what part we will play in the human interaction with water. The process of desalinization may seem like an easy solution to water scarcity for populations located near saltwater. Currently, it is an expensive process, whether through reverse osmosis, steaming, or other techniques like multistage flash distillation. The process also faces enough major setbacks, like producing enough energy to run plants, depositing the waste product (salt/brine), and developing each type of process more, that the option for it to be a serious possible contender to help solve the issue of water scarcity is not practical. For this to be feasible, more students need to be studying science, learning about the setbacks in the field, and working to develop solutions.