Directly detecting harmful pathogens in water can be expensive,
unreliable and incredibly complicated. Fortunately, certain
organisms are known to consistently coexist with these harmful
microbes which are substantially easier to detect and culture:
coliform bacteria. These generally non-toxic organisms are
frequently used as “indicator
species,” or organisms whose presence demonstrates a
particular feature of its surrounding environment.
Gordon Cologne served for 10 years in the California Legislature
during the 1960s and early 1970s while the California State Water
Project was being built.
His interest in water issues began from his early life in the
Coachella Valley desert. An attorney, he worked in both the
public sector in Washington, D.C, and then in private practice in
California. He also served his local community as a member of the
city of Indio City Council, including as mayor, before his
decision to run for election to fill an open seat in the
The Colorado River Compact of 1922
divided the river into two basins: The Upper Basin (Colorado, New
Mexico, Utah and Wyoming) and the Lower Basin (Arizona,
California and Nevada), established the allotment for each basin
and provided a framework for management of the river for years to
The Mexican Delta is located at the
natural terminus of the Colorado River at the Gulf of Mexico,
just south of the U.S.-Mexico border. The desert ecosystem was
formed by silt flushed downstream from the Colorado and fresh and
brackish water mixing at the Gulf.
The Mexican Delta once covered 9,650 square miles but has shrunk
to less than 1 percent of its original size due to man-made water
In 2005, after six years of severe
drought in the Colorado River Basin, federal officials and
representatives of the seven basin states — California, Arizona,
Nevada, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah and Wyoming — began building a
framework to better respond to drought conditions and coordinate
the operations of the basin’s two key reservoirs, Lake Powell and
The resulting Interim Guidelines for Lower Basin Shortages and
the Coordinated Operations for Lake Powell and Lake Mead (Interim
Guidelines) identified the conditions for shortage determinations
and details of coordinated reservoir operations. The 2007 Interim
Guidelines remain in effect through Dec. 31, 2025.
The Lower Colorado River Multi-Species Conservation Program aims
to balance use of Colorado River water resources with the
conservation of native species and their habitat. A key component
of the program is the restoration and enhancement of existing
riparian and marsh habitat along the lower Colorado River.
The Mexican Water Treaty of 1944 committed the U.S. to deliver
1.5 million acre-feet of water to Mexico on an annual basis, plus
an additional 200,000 acre-feet under surplus conditions. The
treaty is overseen by the International Boundary and Water
Colorado River water is delivered to Mexico at Morelos Dam,
located 1.1 miles downstream from where the California-Baja
California land boundary intersects the river between the town of
Los Algodones in northwestern Mexico and Yuma County, Ariz.
California’s Colorado River Water Use Plan (known colloquially as
the 4.4 Plan) intends to wean the state from its reliance on the
surplus flows from the river and return California to its annual
4.4 million acre-feet basic apportionment of the river.
In the past, California has also used more than its basic
apportionment. Consequently, the U.S. Department of
Interior urged California to devise a plan to reduce its water
consumption to its basic entitlement.
Contaminants exist in water supplies from both natural and
manmade sources. Even those chemicals present without human
intervention can be mobilized from introduction of certain
pollutants from both
point and nonpoint sources.
Construction began in 1937 to build the Contra Costa Canal, the
first part of the federal Central Valley
Project. The Contra Costa Canal runs from the Sacramento-San Joaquin
Delta, where it draws its water near Knightsen, to the
eastern and central parts of Contra Costa County. It is about 30
miles from San Francisco.
The C.W. Bill Jones Pumping Plant (formerly known as the Tracy
Pumping Plant) sits at the head of the 117-mile long Delta-Mendota Canal.
Completed in 1951, the canal begins near Tracy, Calif. and
follows the Coast Range south, providing irrigation water to the
west side of the San
Joaquin Valley along its route and terminating at Mendota