The Effects of Mexican and U.S. Land and Water Use Policies on the Colorado River Delta

TitleThe Effects of Mexican and U.S. Land and Water Use Policies on the Colorado River Delta
Publication TypeThesis
Year of Publication2002
AuthorsLewis, Theresa M.
Academic DepartmentBiology, College of Science
Thesis AdvisorWeis, Virginia
DegreeBachelor of Arts in international Studies in Biology
Number of Pages29
Date Published06/2002
UniversityOregon State University
Thesis TypeUndegraduate
Keywordsbiology, Colorado River, Delta, Mexico, United States, water management

This is a report of the effects that the United States and Mexico have had on the Colorado River Delta, Mexico. The Delta was once a rich riparian area that thrived on the constant flow and floodwaters of the Colorado Rover. Water management decisions that benefited agriculture, growth, and development, in the region were made in the early Twentieth Century that prevented the natural flow of the Colorado Rover to the Delta and lead to the decimation of the wetlands. El Niño weather conditions brought excess water to the Delta in the early 1980’s and has lead to the revival of the area. The Colorado River Delta is made up of four sub-ecosystems: the Hardy River-Cucapa Wetlands, the Cienega de Santa Clara, El Doctor, and the intertidal wetlands, which have been supported by agricultural drainage and geothermal waters. There are many parameters that can be used to monitor the effects that humans have had on the environment. This study will focus on salinity, selenium and nutrient concentrations, primary productivity, vegetation, and fauna of the Colorado River Delta. The United States and Mexico are both responsible for the protection of this ecosystem because both countries have profited from the destruction of the Delta in the past. Increasing legislation between the U.S. and Mexico supports the restoration of the Colorado River Delta by guaranteeing the commitment of both countries to work together in their management efforts.