Course: Science Subtest I
Lesson: Earth's Resources
Topic: California's Fresh Water      Page 17 of 39  

The Colorado River similarly runs dry before it reaches its mouth in the Gulf of California. Major cities and agricultural regions in Colorado, Utah, Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, and California draw water from the Colorado River through various aqueducts.

The amount of Colorado River water apportioned to California was set in 1928. The Boulder Canyon Project Act of that year ratified an earlier compact between the seven states of the Colorado River basin. It gave California 4.4 million acre-feet per year, and authorized the construction of Hoover Dam on the Nevada-Arizona border.

Although California is due only 4.4 million acre-feet per year, it has historically drawn the unused allocation of other states to satisfy its large and fast-growing demand for water. It is able to do so because it lies downstream from the other states along the Colorado.


The Colorado River and its drainage basin in Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, and California. The Hoover Dam is on the border of Nevada and Arizona. Source: Wikipedia