thumbnail of Troubled Waters
Transcript
Hide -
If this transcript has significant errors that should be corrected, let us know, so we can add it to FIX IT+
Why.
The American West today is in a state of transition some say a state of siege. Long thought of as an endless wilderness that wilderness is becoming hard to find. They've asked me on parries of western cities spread in an ever increasing encroachment of the land. Western vistas have become obscured by the steel skeletons of power lines which buzz with the drone of electricity the power expanding cities. The clean air of the mountains choked by the automobile airplane and power while. Bulldozers stripped the land acre by acre of land by plant. The American West as we knew it. Not Exist. I think the American West and the American Southwest in particular and the canyon country and the heart of the southwest is a treasure a planetary treasure and rarest thing on earth. There's no other place on earth like it that I've ever heard of but I've been to.
And it should be preserved as a natural. Treasure. This while in strange splendid kind of country it is. It should not be industrialized the American West is a mythical place and that magic has probably contributed greatly to its demise. A place that could satisfy the wanderlust in all of us. The call to adventure the pursuit of dreams with a mythical and sometimes real law of the land was the Sixth Gun an opportunity lay around every corner. The allure of the West. Do people in droves. The problem as our addiction to growth that we must always double what we spend some time back. And that. Is the fatal. Addiction. And somehow we've got to get over it. We cannot have exponential growth. On a fixed. Point in. Our economy haven't handled that
yet. And there are not many of them a. But this is the basic problem. Is there going to be more and more people with more and more demands. Nothing that is beautiful can survive that. The man. With the traditional Western lifestyle is rapidly changing and probably forever altered the boomtown has replaced the traditional ranching farming and small town life. Farmers and ranchers feel increased pressure to sell as the land becomes more and more valuable for subdivisions and vacation resorts. Land developers and power companies continue to chew up the land of the West and somewhere in this maze of activity the original promise of the West has been lost. You know I used to think about controlling growth when I was in office and.
I reached a conclusion after. Trying to find an answer to that over a number of years and I found out that you do one of two things. In a given economic area where population access either you grow or you decline. There is no such thing as controlling the number of people except the economics of the situation. The development of the American West would be impossible. Without one ingredient. In. The cities of the West would be doomed to extinction without one. By far the most important river in the West is the Colorado River. The Colorado's dams provide electricity for nearly 6 million. Its waters irrigate over 15 percent of the nation's produce and livestock from its source high in the wind river range of Wyoming. The Colorado River symbolizes the pulse of the American West. It serves as a microcosm for many of the development issues which face the United States and the world is
probably the most highly politicized and regulated river in the world. Nowhere is the adage water is power more true than in the Arab American West. Well I would say that water means life it is the lifeblood of the West. If there's water there. Development growth industry diversification futures jobs. Without water there is the primeval desert and nothing more. The hills around Chucko Canyon New Mexico seem haunted by the voices of the past. The hostile world of a forbidding desert tells a story of times past. It's here the Ancient Ones the Anasazi tell their tale. The Anasazi first arrived around six hundred eighty one. Over 5000 Indians flourished in this desert canyon culture. Multiple story apartment buildings were built to the sky. Children played in the field. These stories were told of when the. Population of. The Anasazi left the tell tale warnings of what was
to come. Hidden in the ruins of the lessons of a turbulent past the once flourishing culture of the Anasazi disappeared from Chaco Canyon by the mid 11 hundreds the reasons for the disappearance of the Anasazi were overpopulation and the loss of their natural resources in. The past sometimes predicts the future. Any discussion of the Colorado River probably begins with the exploits of John Wesley Powell. Powell a one armed civil war veteran and his expedition of 1869. Was the first to explore the length of the Colorado River and the depths of Grand Canyon. It was an expedition of toil and hardship. Mounted for the purposes of geographic and scientific exploration. It rapidly became a fight for survival. Paolo and his small crew of men ran the rapids of the green and Colorado rivers in small wooden boats Powell wrote in his diary. With some feeling of anxiety. We enter a new Canyon this morning. We have
learned to observe closely the texture of the rock. And softer straighter we have a quiet river in hogger we find Rapids and falls below us of the limestones and hard sandstones which we found in the Cataract Canyon. This bodes ill and. As late as the 1950s only a handful of men and women had run the rapids of the river. The starting point for the Grand Canyon run begins at leas ferry. Below Glen Canyon Dam and ends arbitrarily at Lake Mead. In between is probably the most notorious Whitewater land in North America. All mileage on the river is measured from Mile zero. At least ferries on a hot summer's day during peak tourist season. River companies prepare to go down the Colorado and follow the footsteps of Powles some one hundred and seventeen years earlier. The wooden boats of Powles day have been replaced by shiny inflatable rafts which look like outcasts in a harsh desert
environment. Michael Gallinari has been a boatman on the Colorado for 13 years. He's a successful writer and has a Ph.D. in ecology. I started working as a guide back in the early 70s when I started graduate school as a way to earn money in the summer and make it for the winter. It turned out to be a perfect summer job. But it had some. Addictive qualities which I never suspected at the time. One was that I worked so many trips to so many places that. I found I was living in wilderness and it was a hard thing to draw. Once I graduated the other even more addictive aspect was. The challenge of having to make decisions trying to push your performance to the utmost to try new things take chances. And. I became like most guys an adrenaline junkie and it's a very hard thing a kick. To.
Kenyan Rapide is one of the first rapids of consequence encountered in Grand Canyon. Nimble kayakers play in the waves at the bottom forming an audience to watch the approach. The rapids in Grand Canyon escalate an ever increasing rate. Rapids go from easier at the beginning of the trip to harder later on. Long stretches of calm water punctuated from the. Beginning or ever traveling in Grand Canyon pastures fall into two basic categories. First category is people who are saved up for the occasional upstair anticipated a long time. Great white water trip. And. They want to get slapped around by waves. They want to have their. Stuff scared right out of. Any other group. Is a group that are going along with members of the first group. Are literally frightened to death and are waiting to die around the first corner and truly believe. They've made a very bad decision. But they're going to stick with it. And maybe be proved wrong. Looming out of the depths the steel and concrete of
Glen Canyon Dam. Has forever altered the wild Colorado Glen Canyon backs up the Colorado and forms like power. From this point on the Colorado is a controlled river. Last with the flooding of Glen Canyon with some of the most priceless canyon country in North America. There was no doubt. The loss of a beautiful wild scenic Canyon I mean nobody can argue with that. What was gained. I think is in terms of almost measurable economic development to the western United States. And there's a trade Glen Canyon signalled a permanent change in the development of the American West a town springing up nearby called Page Arizona. And flourished on the economy brought by construction and recreation opportunities offered by Lake Powell. Glen Canyon Dam provides water storage for the upper basin states and power to run the air conditioners of Phoenix. It also touched off one of the
greatest environmental debates of the century. They don't need it for water because it doesn't put water anywhere. It simply holds it. Hydroelectric power. Fulfills a few mechanical details of the compact and make sure that water will flow downhill which water knew what to do anyway. Just the hydroelectric project to make money for other collection schemes and I think we've just about outlived the need for those for a good many decades to come. Glen Canyon is an example of something to get something on and when it was decided to go ahead with the project. Those who made the policy decision were of the view that the benefits were greater than the losses. I think that has turned out to be the case and the Lake Powell and what it stands for and all of the development and opportunity and what it means to southern Utah in terms of its economic future has been a very good and
satisfying experience for us. Damn sites within Grand Canyon continue to be debated. As the cities of the West grow. I'm a bit Adli. There is more pressure for increased power. To the most widely discussed potential dams in Grand Canyon or at Marble Canyon and bridge. Each If built. Would flood wide stretches of the Grand Canyon. This is a pivotal place in Grand Canyon. In the 1950s early there a grand scheme to produce five huge dams along the Colorado system. This is the site of the proposed marble cannon dam site. And what we see here in these tunnels. Are our deep shafts that have been drilled to test the feasibility and suitability of the rock to hold a dam. And. Water here was supposed to be in the Central Arizona Project that turning Arizona into a boom state. But. Conservation lobbyists especially the Sierra Club led by David Brower in 1966 launched a really. Hard core program to
stop the dam. They put full page ads in The New York Times and The Washington Post saying only you can stop this dam being done for profit. You know flooding the Sistine Chapel. To see Michelangelo's paintings. And it works. The public outcry was so great that this particular place was snuffed. Although the three other dams of the five were built. Glen Canyon upstream is one of them. At mile 61 the little Colorado merges into the main street. The little Colorado is known for the frequency and severity of its flood. But on this day it runs a clear blue offering a striking contrast to the river. The blue cast comes from a high alkaline and salinity content of the river. This confluence provides one of the few remaining sanctuaries for the humpback. Trouble. A native fish which flourished before the coming of Glen Canyon Dam. But is now on its way to extinction. In 1869. Major John Wesley Pao's expedition spent three
apprehensive days at the Little Colorado. The conditions he faced were much different than those of today. He wrote. We are now ready to start our way down the great unknown. Our boats tied to a common stake chief each other as they are tossed by the fretful river. They ride high and boy. With a loads lighter than we could design. We have a month's rationing room maybe. A West built on cattle king. Much of the water comes out of the Colorado I think 85 percent goes to agriculture and more than 80 percent of that goes directly into production of beef. Think it takes four thousand two hundred gallons to produce a pound of beef. So essentially a Colorado River is being drained to create beef. And our consumption of beef in the United States has tripled I think since the late 1960s. This is mainly attributable to. Fast food chains such as McDonald's and Burger King and changes in American eating
habits due to that kind of advertising. And it's ironic in a sense that the. The most expensive River projects in the world are pumped into cattle. And I think it says a lot about our our culture. Deo Taylor operates a ranch in of South mountains near Moab Utah. One of the largest uses of Colorado River water is livestock alpine mountains gradually give way to gently sloping meadows. Thunderheads over the last hours sailing the breeze predicting the rain of the afternoon the traditional ranching way of life is changing what was once a viable way of making a living is now less so. Well our family the Taylors were early pioneer settlers the first permanent settlers in southeastern Utah. Back in 1874 and we have continued to run livestock sheep and cattle on these ranges since that time. I'm the fifth generation in my
head three grandsons it might be the seventh generation to be ranchers in this part of Utah. We operate primarily on public land because Southern Utah is primarily primary example. Grand County is 94 percent public land so we. Are forced to operate. We have no option is to choose between private land. And that is one of the. Problems that we're having and I foresee it becoming a bigger problem. And if these public lands have been discovered by the rest of the citizens of the United States and this is a very scenic part of the United States particularly the southern part of Utah. And we're going to get increasing pressure from environmentalists and recreationists who want to come in and make their own uses of the land and some of them feel that commercial uses of the land are improper. We feel that that's going to be an increasing problem because a lot of character here
it's written in the faces the weather beaten hands hurt and the jingle of the Spurs. Well memories of history make the feeling of contentment prevails. The cowboy is still the romantic vision of the old west. Water of course is the lifeblood of any area and particularly so in the arid West and the Colorado River is the principal stream that goes through our area all the streams into this ranch country of tributaries to the Colorado and of course are vital to our local economy both for agriculture and for people to drink and so on. In Southern California and Arizona areas are growing much more rapidly in this area and that they are over utilizing their share of the Colorado River water right now. The Central Arizona Project is about ready to go on stream when it does like California's going to have to replace that water. I think the request for new water is going to get to be a very sticky issue in the future.
City of San Diego has already come upstream to Colorado and Utah and attempted to directly by water from the upstream states here of the Colorado water today have been refused that. But I think there's going to be more and more pressure for this water to be moved downstream. It's estimated it currently takes 4200 gallons of water to put one pound of beef on the table. The signal to develop the American West was heralded by the livestock industry. But it's an interesting paradox because seemingly no one has a greater love of the land than the cowboy. I don't want it to be taken away from me. It's a marvelous lifestyle fits me it doesn't fit everybody but it fits me. I like it. So I'm going to do it as long as it's around.
At mile 76 in the Grand Canyon lies hence rapping. The debris wash down river canyon to Boulder and locked room rapping. The strength of the river and the rocks create a challenge for River Road. Hence his name for the first permanent sampler of the Grand Canyon. John Higgins. This is a huge Rapide and it's also very unusual rapid both for the same reason. There's a database cell that comes cutting down. To the red and then across the river and boulders that have been spewed out by flash floods Red Canyon here are perched on that scale. And because of. The strata below that are real soft the river is cut a miniature Niagara here. And it's a hard trap to run a certain water levels. This also an interesting spot because the first permanent settler in Grand Canyon. Made his living right here. He mined asbestos in the limestone fried by the same Diabate cell. And also a trail out which is still used today by people like
in. An. Area. Here. You. We. Needed to. Get our next. Game. Is.
On.
The Colorado River and Grand Canyon is still a great risk because. It offers several very good dam sites. And damsel just exists dams. Store water. Water is power. Power is money. And. Water power money connection is big politics Arizona and most of the southwest is too dry to support the population that is in it now. Yet Arizona Southern California are very growth oriented. In fact. Their whole economy is geared toward growth. Their philosophy is geared toward growth. They require more water and more power. So every year. The. Proponents of the Central Arizona Project. Bring out the bill again to be run through Congress. To build a dam down a bridge Canyon that's mile 2:37 which would backup. Water. Approximately to the midpoint of Grand Canyon. If such a dam were built. Half of the Grand Canyon would be reservoir rather than.
20 percent right now. The Colorado River from its headwaters high in the Wind River Range of Wyoming the point where it dies a slow death in the sands of Mexico. Is a 1400 140 miles of life. Seven western states and Mexico share a common history. From conflict and. Water is allocated on the basis of the Colorado River compact of 1922. The compact has served as a constant source of conflict between the basin states of Nevada Wyoming New Mexico Utah Colorado Arizona and California. The problem is the compact is based on a false slope. The Bureau of Reclamation measured the flow of the Colorado during an abnormally high flow. The Colorado River compact it's based on the best hydrologic data they had at the time of that compact and it contemplated division of water amongst the upper basin war basin and a commitment to Mexico dividing up that
supply of water. Long term wreckage from that point carried forward would indicate that the U.S. made a little bit too high. I think if you averaged in the last few years that the case it changes somewhat because we've had some very very wet years in 1983 through 1986 the result being the allocations of the 1922 compact are inaccurate. Because there isn't enough water in the river to satisfy the amount given. Former Governor Scott Matheson sums up the conflict between the states in this matter. Intense. Inherently. When they divided up the flow. Of the 15 million acre feet which became the mean if I recall correctly of. The annual production of the Colorado River drainage. Seven hundred. And fifty seven hundred and fifty seven million five hundred thousand acre feet has to go to the lower basin states
first. Well you can imagine when we have dry years what that does in the upper basin states the waters of the Colorado River are allocated in this manner. Seven and a half million acre feet the upper basin states of Colorado Wyoming Utah and New Mexico. Seven and a half million acre feet allocated to the lower basin states of California Arizona and Nevada. One and a half million acre feet was given to Mexico by Congress in 1945 one million acre feet has been reserved for the Indian tribes of the West. For my 1996 Supreme Court ruling known as the winter is done. Over two million acre feet is lost annually through evaporation. So the question remains. Is there enough water. Most experts say no. Some predict the demand will over power supply by the year 2000. The
Colorado is oversubscribed and over allocate. So in most years now the river does not reach the its natural outlet on the surface. And this is because it is so heavily diverted and used on both sides of the border. In.
The desert communities of Phoenix and Tucson are two of the fastest growing cities in the southwest. The vast urban sprawl of Phoenix reflects the trend of population migrating to the Sunbelt. Huge shopping malls and sprawling residential areas. Demand ever increasing amounts of water and power. Arizona is an interesting paradox. Built in the middle of the desert. It doesn't look like it has a water pump. Huge water fountains sprayed into the sky. Some of the most exclusive residential areas are built around manmade lakes. Novel idea is have a. Several ocean amusement parks have been created which offer surfie swimming and even the beach. An artificial environment. Sits in the middle of the desert like an illusion or a mirage. We have had I think somewhat excessive uses of water fountains for outdoor display for lakes. That's something that we took on in the legislature this
year saying having lakes out in the desert just say you can sell more homes is lunacy. And eventually it's going to use up far too much of our precious water. The result of these developments and to many others coupled with the population surge has been a 60 percent decrease in the ground water table. Without water these communities would be ghost towns. And the Central Arizona Project. The c.a.p involves a grand scheme to bring Colorado River water by canal overed desert and mountain from near the California border to quench the first of the dry desert communities of Phoenix and Tucson. Without the sea I think what we would be doing is mining the groundwater basins to extinction and then we would have abandoned towns just like we have abandoned copper towns today. When you quit mining when the oil runs out. It's all over. But c.a.p is a renewable resource from the Colorado River
that will enable us to have balanced water use. Through an elaborate system of canals. Water is brought to the desert but it's an uphill climb. Three hundred and thirty miles with 14 pumping stations built at a cost of over three and a half billion dollars. The vast canal system is one of the few manmade objects. Visible from space. Martin Litton has been running the Grand Canyon of the Colorado for over 30 years now approaching 70. He seems as angry as ever about those who would destroy the last remaining remnants of the wilderness. A former director of the Sierra Club Litton now runs Grand Canyon Dorry's river running outfit which runs the Colorado through Grand Canyon and other rivers of the West. On this day he plans to fly from northern California to Hurricane Utah. Povero
river trip down the Colorado. Some parts of the world have too much water and will never have enough water here as long as we keep trying to settle with more and more people. People need water. Our industry our farms our homes all need a lot of water these days. We don't work the pump with our hands and take what comes out there and we turn on the tap and let it run and use a little of it. We waste it and we've been encouraged to waste it. We've even been encouraged to waste water by the government because that made created a need for new projects to gather up more water. Now we've gotten down to the point where we are trying to utilize water that doesn't even exist. MARTIN Litton has been a major force in almost every environmental issue of recent years. The ABLA Canyon Monteux lake the Grand Canyon is wooden Dory's by the name of environmental disasters. We named the boats after. I suppose you'd say environmental tragedies
places that man has faced or in some cases totally destroyed. Places that weren't dutiful and were worthy of being at issue. Very important to save. In most cases they were issues. MARTIN Litton leaves an imposing legacy for others who follow. A certain sadness prevails and is felt in the shake of the hand. The glimmer in the eyes. The wild Colorado cannot be reclaimed. Steel and concrete replace the red walls and limestone. Pulled water courses through the veins of the Colorado. But some remember what it was like to be among the first on a wild river. To hear the roar and feel the fury. Reach a bend in the canyon takes on the element of the unknown. For that feeling lives on in the mind of Martin Lee and others like. Some of the sparkle is gone. The memories live on. I have. Feelings that strong feelings that the more water goes down into the
ocean the better the whole system will be. You don't stop to think sometimes it's not those who give up the water will lose it's the recipients of the water. Look at all the water has done to Southern California take taken the most beautiful place on the earth and turned it into one of the ugliest because it can now accommodate the people who can do anything they want there. One of Martin Lytton's wooden Dory's bears the name of Black Mesa. Deep within the heart of the Navajo Indian Reservation in northern Arizona. A black scar knife sits way along the plateaus of the high country. Peabody Coal with the permission of the Navajos has constructed a huge strip mine to produce coal which fires the Navajo power plant near Paige Arizona. Well it's almost ludicrous to ask a question about how does a strip mine fit in with the natural landscape of the American West. It doesn't fit in at all it's as the harshest
kind of use of land that there can possibly be. They say they bulldoze it back into its original condition. You can imagine how true that is. The Navajo plant supplies the power to pump water from the Colorado River to the Central Arizona Project. The Navajo plant was the political compromise which kept the dams out of Grand Canyon and yet still have power for the Central Arizona. There is nothing even remotely similar on the Colorado Plateau in the canyon lands. I think ultimately we're going to have to be. Going to devise management practices which say. We. Want. To keep intact and enhance. The entire area and I think creating the future that's going to mean we have to say no power plants to strip mining. To these. Intrusive. Technologies which inevitably subtract from experiencing. The landscape.
The. 60 million acre Navajo reservation offers a curious mix of the old and the new. On this day the chairman and vice chairman of the Navajo Nation Pettersson Zha and the game fly in for a political meeting to old junto a small town on the Utah and Arizona border. The Navajo in many ways face decisions paramount to the American West. Whether to allow energy companies to develop or find other sources of economy. Indian tribes. I think in the United States have to use their water. If they if they don't use the water they going to ultimately just lose the water. And so it's a matter of. Using those streams it's a matter of using the water to your advantage because if you don't use it you're going to lose it to. Other people who may be in a position to put more leverage politically on the acquisition of those rivers and water. And what I would like to see. Is for the
Navajo Nation to continue to use as much water it is entitled to as possible. I think that's the way that we can preserve our water. The issue of Indian water rights threatens to throw a monkey wrench into the elaborate water scheme of the West. We don't like the idea to simply invite in corporate corporate America into the Navajo Nation. And then just have them help themselves. I think we have done that for too long and because of that they end up hurting the environment and that hurt the mother earth and in some cases hurt the people. The Supreme Court ruling a Valentino A known as the winter's doctrine guaranteed the Indian tribes of the Colorado Basin as much water as they needed. To an oversubscribed river. This means trouble to the big business of the West. I think one could look at what has happened to many Navajo families because of uranium development because of what happened in the late
50s and the early 60s. Companies coming into the reservation and extracting uranium and then having our Navajo labor force work with them without any regards to the health of those workers. And then without. Educate them to the fact that they are being contaminated as they work in those mines. I think that's that's called for on the part of United States and on the part of those companies because many Navajo people trust a. Lot of these companies to come into the into the reservation and help with unemployment. But we didn't realize that there was danger behind what they were doing.
In. Granite Falls signals a significant change in the grand and. Black hard rocks the place the red wall shade. Of marble can. Early explorers called this the granite gourd because of a series of turbulent Rapids. In the morning light Granite Falls gives an impression of impending doom. Monolithic black towers guard the river past. The cold water of the Colorado boils as if in flames at it's very. Once more. An angry river. In Grand Canyon being is that when you're scouting and from 40 50 60 hundred feet up from the ramp and. It's hard to imagine
that a wave that looks like two feet tall is actually 25 feet tall. The amount of water that's coming at you and pushing you one way or the other. Is very critical so you have to be. Taking that consideration that you're not looking at. The size the rapid you're going to run you're going to get down there and get into the land of the giants. Get down there get pushed around and if you're exactly off five feet it can be mean people of all the people in your boat swimming. Know once pristine Canyon I am the Uinta Mountains of Utah. Giant earthmovers begin construction on upper still watered down part of six similar units which comprise the central Utah project at a cost of $2 billion dollars and 10 years behind schedule. The central Utah project reverses the flow of the streams and rivers which run into the Colorado River and transports the water upstream to an elaborate maze of
tunnels dynamited through mountain rock to reach the Wasatch Front and Salt Lake City. Critics say the Wasatch Front is already water rich and point to recent flooding as an example. Central Utah project Central Arizona Project. They stopped. In their tracks. I don't think it's politically feasible. I wish it were. The Jordan El reservoir and dam is still the linchpin. Of Utah's water development along the Wasatch Front. For the foreseeable future and is absolutely essential component to the continued development of the area along the Wasatch Front. Sometime in the near future. Concrete and steel will replace the low grasslands with a Provo river runs to the Hebrew valley of Utah. The Jordan dam of the central Utah project will spend this valley and flood the part of. The small town of Keatley stands in the way of progress. For it is to be flooded
by the Jordt No project. It doesn't look like much. And old school. The long branch saloon bar out of the old west. A few houses stand at the edge of town. I see it this point has a big hole for everybody else throw their money into and. I just hope we don't end up with a big dinosaur. The west of old is becoming harder and harder to find. Most often now what is seen is row upon row of condominiums. Where mountains one too. Many ranch homes and vacation resorts have become current trend. Mountains become scarred as developers move farther and farther into the wilderness. Building roads from New subdivision. And with that push and expansion of the suburbs the land becomes more valuable for development. Than for farming and ranching. Ought to be kept as will. The view of the Golden Arches has replaced the deep. Canyons and wide open spaces. As symbols of
the American way. Las Vegas rises out of the desert like an action mirage on the horizon. Las Vegas is a contradiction for an energy and water shortage nation. Steel concrete and people seem out of place here. The glitter of a thousand bulbs flashes in the eyes. Questions arise as to whether this is an effective use of the resources needed to power. Las Vegas cannot exist without water from the Colorado system as many other cities. In California Arizona Colorado. Las Vegas is sort of a strange city because it's. The illicit playground of the well-to-do. It's not so much the water I begrudge just the amount of power it's being sucked up per capita in Las Vegas which is I think the highest in the world. And. The ethics of this and the balance involved. With resources which are in very limited supply.
I think is an issue that needs to be rethought. I is kind of a blight on the landscape. And. It solely exists because of the Colorado River. And people now are clamoring for their share of that. Whereas Las Vegas takes a very disproportionate.
The. Drain on the American Westies population. And nowhere is that population more evident. Than on the smog filled bumper to bumper freeways of Los Angeles. Los Angeles in many ways symbolizes the American dream. Nowhere does the look of affluence prevailed as in Los Angeles. But why Los Angeles fulfilled the American dream. The penalties have been severe smoke and smog for miles upon miles of automobiles cloud and choke the city. The power and political clout. Southern California has always achieved the impractical. Well I suppose if I were the great god Brown and people said the mayor should rebuild the city and Phoenix issue rebuild Los Angeles. I'd say no. Build it close to close to the water build it. Near a great river or a series of rivers. But unfortunately it's too late to discuss that. Plus Angeles
will sooner or later be the largest. City in the United States. California was shaken by the drought of 1977. Water became a serious issue for possibly the first time Californians realized that the taps could be turned off. I think the 1976 77 drought did sensitize Californians and many other Westerners. When you look back over the tree ring record in the West it's very clear that we have yet to experience the same severity. And. Length of droughts. That the West has experienced in geologic time. This means we may be facing much more serious droughts in the future than that experienced in California in 1976 1977. Historically Arizona has not been using its full share of Colorado River water. That water was going to California. Soon with the
Central Arizona Project coming online. Arizona will take its full share. This could potentially signal a new water crisis in California. I think it's going to have a a devastating effect upon the upon the state. I think. That. California is going to have to economize more in the. Water. I think they're going to have to use it more efficiently. And. I really I really can't give you the the end result. Well I think to say pain by diverting some of the water that has been heretofore used in Southern California will simply accelerate the day when California comes to grips with its own water problems particularly the issue of transferability. There's plenty of water in California but it isn't freely transferable. And I think the lesson that we have demonstrated in Arizona is that one part of good water
management is putting water rights into the marketplace and tying them from the land so that a given acre foot of water can be transferred from some value that is more productive than growing an acre of alfalfa. The conflict and potential water for water between the cities and agriculture is felt strongly in the Imperial Valley of California. Farmers fear the cities will eventually take what they need and by whatever method they can farmers don't win against thirsty Housewives. That's just a fact. We're going to lose if we. Get down to that point. Some of this farmland that is not producing that's not economically economically feasible if I use the right term. We'll have to give up or sell water rights to be a condemnation that it'd be like a series of series of old houses with an expanding commercial neighborhood.
They just they're just going to have to give it each time a field is irrigated and water returned to the Colorado. The salinity of the river increases. Irrigation is by far the largest man caused source of salinity. Mexico historically received surplus water from the Colorado. The water is highly Salian by the time it reaches the crops of the Mexicali Valley. This has been a constant source of conflict between the U.S. and Mexico. Mexico has threatened to take the matter to the world court. The Mexicans have a partial right to that Colorado River water but that's not up to us to give them what kind of water they want or need. They take whatever they can get. Well. In Colorado of course empties into the Gulf down there they're entitled to the same water rights that the states joining
the Colorado River are entitled to. And of course with all that waste pouring into it pouring into the Colorado from the. Great use is being made of it. They have to be protected. People have sympathy for the Mexican people that are hurt by the solemnity. They did not have sympathy for American farmers. And so if we didn't have the Mexicans and or faith that we were. No one would worry about it. We're convinced that. A 42 million dollar salting van was authorized to be built near Yuma Arizona. Debate continues as to whether this is the solution. As costs continue to escalate and construction drags on. Critics wonder whether the salting plan will work. It's estimated that every drop of the Colorado is used at least three times over.
At mile one 79 lies the finale. The fitting conclusion to the novel that is the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon. Lava Falls is the most famous Rapide on the river. The one which all fear and anticipate. The climax of which stories are told. Memories etched in the mind. Probably the biggest. Apprehension of the Bolton to have about coming up to lava falls is the fact that you cannot see anything. Before you drop in. So if you're not a veteran of the river or familiar with your. Landmarks. Let's say you're not really sure exactly where to enter. You're going to have more difficulty than anybody else. John Wesley Powell and his expedition portage lava falls but not before explaining. Water conflict. Water and Fire. There must have been. Just imagine a river of molten rock. Running down into a river of melted snow. What I see the. Boiling of the water is.
What clouds of steam rolled into. The. Black. Lava strewn cliffs tell a foreboding tale. The blackness of volcanic rock provides an eerie warning to all who. Heat swells off the black rock as the waters boil as if from a raging inferno. Deep. Below. The Falls rapid used to be considered the biggest navigable wrapped in North America. Now it's still considered the biggest medical weapon. In North America but not quite as difficult as the most difficult WREFORD in Grand Canyon. Chris Arap is a little worse but by the time you get to lava falls crystal so far behind it. Once again it is the most important thing in the world. And it has a series of. Really. Drastic dangers.
The center of the rapid that can flip any kind of boat in any situation. And there are options to go around this and more sedate route to the left where a more hairball route to the right. And it's this choice that moment have to make them into agony. Like the American West. The once powerful Colorado River is no more. Below lava falls Colorado continues to roll sloppily towards the Gulf. The Colorado below Grand Canyon is dammed no fewer than eight more times. Most maps still show the Colorado reaching the sea of Cortez and Mexico. The Colorado runs dry. Every drop used and re-used estimates say the Colorado is over used by 6 million acre feet every year for the time being we are faced with the challenge of attempting to satisfy very important
ecological values against a backdrop of an over committed river. This means that in order to meet the increasingly important needs for preserving endangered species for preserving among floors for recreation and wildlife habitat that we're going to have to better manage the resource. The Colorado River serves as a microcosm of the world's water supply a finite resource and how much can be developed and you. The Colorado River has reached that in America the West. Is not far behind. Well you can't see a bright future for the American West if you live here and watch what's going on. All that is beautiful. Practically all
Program
Troubled Waters
Producing Organization
KUED
Contributing Organization
The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia (Athens, Georgia)
AAPB ID
cpb-aacip-83-214mwh2h
If you have more information about this item than what is given here, or if you have concerns about this record, we want to know! Contact us, indicating the AAPB ID (cpb-aacip-83-214mwh2h).
Description
Program Description
"Why does the Colorado River run dry before it reaches the Gulf? Why is the water so saline that it can't be used by Mexico? 'Troubled Waters' presents the issues surrounding the rights and uses of the Colorado River in a context that defines the historical significance and compelling beauty of the river. The story is painted upon a dramatic, adventuresome canvas and tied together by a lyrical and thought provoking narration by Edward Asner. "Issues addressed include the geographic and historical origins of the Colorado, reasons for its decline from preeminence as America's wildest river, interstate water feuds, and the creation of Lake Powell which covered archeological treasures never to be reclaimed and inundated some of the Grand Canyon's most spectacular scenery. Is more to be lost in the name of progress' "'Troubled Waters' is of paramount importance as the issues serve as a microcosm of development versus environmental protection concerns worldwide. The Colorado River is a finite source, much like oil and coal. That resource has been used to the point of exhaustion. Without the Colorado's water, the desert cities of Phoenix, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles would be ghost towns. The Colorado sends an urgent message. What was once the wildest river in North America has been dammed to virtual extinction. The river runs dry in the dusty sands of Mexico long before it reaches its historic rendezvous with the Sea of Cortez. Every drop is used and re-used to serve the needs of man. "Through captivating visual images 'Troubled Water' asks tough questions which are not easily or soon answered. Will nature win the environmental war? Or will the troubled waters of the past continue to haunt the future of the American West."--1987 Peabody Awards entry form.
Broadcast Date
1987-02-25
Created Date
1987
Asset type
Program
Genres
Documentary
Topics
Nature
Rights
KUED
Media type
Moving Image
Embed Code
Copy and paste this HTML to include AAPB content on your blog or webpage.
Credits
Producer: Howe, John
Producing Organization: KUED
AAPB Contributor Holdings
The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia
Identifier: cpb-aacip-e98c8a0e380 (Filename)
Format: U-matic
Duration: 1:00:00
If you have a copy of this asset and would like us to add it to our catalog, please contact us.
Citations
Chicago: “Troubled Waters,” 1987-02-25, The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 28, 2022, http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-83-214mwh2h.
MLA: “Troubled Waters.” 1987-02-25. The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 28, 2022. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-83-214mwh2h>.
APA: Troubled Waters. Boston, MA: The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-83-214mwh2h