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When populations live in areas where natural resources are scarce, conserving them becomes critical for survival. The case study presented in this lesson introduces students to a real drought that has been developing in the Colorado River basin for many years. The Colorado River is the major source of water for people in the driest part of the United States. More than 30 million people in 7 states depend on this river as the primary source of their water. In this lesson, students discover how changes in climate over the Colorado watershed are reducing the amount of fresh water available in the river. They also see how the population of the region that uses this water has grown, resulting in increasing demands on a dwindling resource.
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