Colorado River 100 Years
LOMA, Colo. (AP) — Under the blazing afternoon sun, Joe Bernal navigates a shiny-green John Deere tractor onto a dirt road a few miles north of downtown Fruita.
TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — Robbie Woodhouse’s grandfather began nearly a century of family farming along the Gila River near Yuma in the middle 1920s when he dug up a bunch of mesquite stumps on his land to make way for his barley, wheat, Bermuda seed, cotton and melon fields.
California’s Imperial Valley, which provides many of the nation’s winter vegetables and cattle feed, has one of the strongest grips on water from the Colorado River, a critical but over-tapped supply for farms and cities across the West.
In November 1922, seven land-owning white men brokered a deal to allocate water from the Colorado River, which winds through the West and ends in Mexico.
A small fraction of the Colorado River manages to reach Northern Mexico to irrigate its fields and provide for the daily needs of millions of residents.