This month, National Geographic took a look at the water problems in the Colorado River area and what is being done.
Agriculture and industry are usually blamed for water shortages, but National Geographic explored how individuals can also save water. For instance, many people don’t know that they use less water by washing their dishes in a dishwasher rather than by hand. If every person in the United States could cut their water consumption by 30%, 8.5 billion gallons of water could be saved every day. Yard irrigation contributes to much of the waste, but even smaller things like eating habits and cotton clothing contribute to the consumption of water.
The Colorado River serves 40 million people in the southwest and more water is going out than being replenished. Decreasing levels in Lake Mead and at Hoover Dam are worrying water management experts. Arizona cities like Phoenix that are banking their Colorado River water and reclaiming effluent contribute to replenishment of water resources and protection of aquifers. Nevada cut its water consumption by a third, with a focus on changes to landscaping codes.