Tapping the Colorado dry

Colorado River labeled the most endangered U.S. waterway

The Colorado River is America’s most endangered waterway, according to American Rivers’ annual top-10 list that ranks rivers most at risk of drought, overuse and pollution.

The list refers to a three-year federal Bureau of Reclamation study released last December that warned the water demands of 40 million people (throughout seven western states) will outpace what the river is able to support within the next 50 years, according to ABC News.

The list’s authors noted that the Colorado—which supplies irrigation for about 4 million acres of farmland and is the main source of drinking water for Denver, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Phoenix—is already called the “most controlled and plumbed river on Earth,” with more diversions and dams planned for the future.