At over 800 mile long, the Texas Colorado River is one of the longest rivers to start and end in the same state. (Note the it is no the same Colorado River the flows with Arizona, Utah, and other west states.) because of its importance to ours state’s economy, our environment, our industry, our agriculture, and especially our resides as Texans, that is important the lifeblood of ours state. That is headwaters begin in northwest Texas, and also the flow flows southeast, supporting countless different communities and ecosystems and also eventually emptying right into the Gulf the Mexico in ~ Matagorda Bay. Along the way, its reservoirs kind the Highland Lakes, and also it flows v downtown Austin, the fastest-growing city area in the country.

The river’s watershed

As you can see in this map, the Colorado River’s watershed is huge, including practically 15% of Texas. (A river’s “watershed” or “basin” is every the land that drains right into that river.)

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2011 was the solitary worst year of dryness in ours state’s history, and the notorious drought the the 1950s is still taken into consideration the “drought that record” because that a drought the lasts lot of years. Walk you understand that, if the drought of the ‘50s hit Texas today, end 300 municipalities throughout the state would run the end of water? dryness is a serious threat in the Colorado flow basin, and like flooding, the is every the scarier since of the unpredictability. Not only does drought impact water quantity, because less rain runoff is flowing into our waterways, yet it likewise impacts water quality, as low flows and higher water temperatures readjust the chemistry the the water. (For instance, together water level drop and flow rates decrease, the quantity of oxygen liquified in the water have the right to decrease sharply, stressing or death aquatic life.)

The Colorado River container has always experienced floods and also droughts, however changes to our climate space steadily make both the floods and droughts that us experience an ext frequent and more severe. Those more, data native tree ring tell united state that our region has proficient “megadroughts” multiple time in previous centuries.


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The risk of megafloods and also megadroughts is real, and also it is growing. The require for permanent strategic thinking and public discussion of water problems — prefer our Barstow Speaker series and Colorado flow VIP Tour has never to be greater.