Earth Focus

American Rivers: Challenges of the Colorado and the Potomac

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Two iconic American rivers are under threat. The Colorado River, a lifeline for the expanding population of seven US and two Mexican states, faces an increasing demand for water for drinking, sanitation, agriculture, and energy generation. Yet the Colorado already runs dry before reaching its natural end at the Gulf of California. Jamie Redford and Mark Decena discuss their new film Watershed: Exploring a New Water Ethic for the New West, which explores sustainable solutions to help address this pressing problem. The Potomac provides water for 4 million people in Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia. Once so polluted that it was called a "national disgrace," the river made a dramatic comeback over the years. But now it tops the 2012 list of America's Most Endangered Rivers. Pollution is a growing concern and may be a reason why the majority of male bass in the river now exhibit female traits such as egg production. Alexandra Cousteau discusses her film The Nation's River, which looks at the state of the Potomac and what can be done to protect it.

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