A Comprehensive Simulation of the Colorado River Basin: An Interactive Exercise

As the dominant hydrological force in the American Southwest, the Colorado River cuts a wide swath through vast deserts and arid plains, and also through the lives of millions of people and species. As with many managed freshwater ecosystems, the complex question arises: what is the best way to balance ecosystem health, the maintenance of ecosystem services, and the needs of diverse stakeholders? This simulation exercise allows users to experiment interactively with water allocation tradeoffs, economics of water use, and the impact of climate change on the basin, as well as visualize the impact of tradeoffs on the native ecosystems of the basin and the impact of water conservation measures. The simulation provides a useful heuristic tool for exploring many water management issues, and is highly illustrative and useful for comparative and educational purposes, for both students and conservation professionals.

See also:
How the West was Watered: A Case Study of the Colorado River

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Exercise: A Comprehensive Simulation of the Colorado River Basin: An Interactive Exercise

Author: N. Christensen, K. Wheeler, E.C. Vintinner, B.C. Weeks

   

This Exercise is comprised of two components: the exercise guide, which you can download here, and the simulation, which can be viewed online or downloaded as an Excel file or PDF fromĀ http://ncep.amnh.org/colorado_simulation/


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