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Colorado River Most Endangered River In America

The Colorado River has long been a fixture on the most endangered river list published by the group American Rivers. However, this is the first time it has been deemed the "most" endangered.

Aired 4/18/13 on KPBS News.

The Colorado River, the source of about half of San Diego's drinking water, tops the list of America's most endangered rivers.

Willem van Bergen

The group said overuse of the Colorado is drying it up. Outdated water management practices and a prolonged drought are combining to threaten a river that slakes the thirst of 36 million people. The group said the situation on the Colorado River is dire, but that salvaging the water source is not impossible.

"There is hope," said Matt Niemerski of American Rivers. "It's just incumbent for stakeholders across the board, whether it's municipalities, individuals, the agricultural sector, the industrial sector, conservation organizations, to come together to begin to work on these problems."

Niemerski said demand for the shrinking supply of Colorado River water can be rolled back with better conservation, efficiencies and management. If that's not enough, he adds, hard-fought water rights deals may have to be renegotiated.

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