Agriculture along the Colorado River • Earth.comAgriculture along

Last update: February 18th, 2020 at 8:00 am

Today’s Image of the Day comes thanks to the NASA Earth Observatory and features a look at agriculture along the Colorado River.

These fields of crops take advantage of the rich soil close to the river. The larger crop circles measure roughly 2500 square feet in diameter

This image was captured by an astronaut on board the International Space Station.

The Colorado River is one of the principal rivers (along with the Rio Grande) in the Southwestern United States and northern Mexico. The 1,450-mile-long (2,330 km) river drains an expansive, arid watershed that encompasses parts of seven U.S. states and two Mexican states. Starting in the central Rocky Mountains of Colorado, the river flows generally southwest across the Colorado Plateau and through the Grand Canyon before reaching Lake Mead on the Arizona–Nevada border, where it turns south toward the international border. After entering Mexico, the Colorado approaches the mostly dry Colorado River Delta at the tip of the Gulf of California between Baja California and Sonora.

Known for its dramatic canyons, whitewater rapids, and eleven U.S. National Parks, the Colorado River and its tributaries are a vital source of water for 40 million people. The river and its tributaries are controlled by an extensive system of dams, reservoirs, and aqueducts, which in most years divert its entire flow for agricultural irrigation and domestic water supply.  Its large flow and steep gradient are used for generating hydroelectric power, and its major dams regulate peaking power demands in much of the Intermountain West. Intensive water consumption has dried up the lower 100 miles (160 km) of the river, which has rarely reached the sea since the 1960

By Rory Arnold, Earth.com Staff Writer

Image Credit: NASA Earth Observatory

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