CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Recently, ABC reported that the Colorado River is "the most endangered river in the U.S." But several cities in Texas are drawing water from a Colorado River. So what gives?
The answer? These are two different rivers: they just share a name.
The Colorado River that runs through Texas, and provides water to hundreds of communities, is not considered an endangered environment. It's the Colorado River between Arizona and California that's under threat.
The Texas Colorado Rivers' watershed includes several major metropolitan areas in Texas, including Austin, Midland-Odessa, San Angelo, and hundreds of smaller towns and communities. Many communities, like Austin, rely on the Colorado River for 100% of their municipal water, the Colorado River Authority said on their website.
For example, the City of Corpus Christi recently announced they were adding water from the Colorado River to the city's water blend. City officials said this water blend will be utilized regularly moving forward and used monthly for a minimum of three days.
Meanwhile, the Colorado River in the Western U.S. is a major freshwater source for over 40 million people in seven southwestern states and parts of northern Mexico. ABC reports that this river has lost 20% of its water levels over the past 22 years. Environmentalists forecast it's going to get worse.
However, the Colorado River that cities like Austin and Corpus Christi are sourcing water from runs from West Texas to the Texas Gulf Coast. Although drought conditions affect this river as well, it is not as bad.
In fact, according to the Colorado River Alliance website, towns like Corpus Christi and Round Rock are able to receive water that is piped in from the Colorado River, even though those towns are outside the Colorado’s watershed.
River authorities said the best way to prevent catastrophic drought conditions in our Colorado River is through education.
"At the Colorado River Alliance, we are proud that, through water-conservation pledges, our programs help leave over 20 million gallons of water in the river every year!" a statement on their website said.
Those efforts ensure that the Texas Colorado River remains a steady source of water for communities across the Lone Star State.
You can read more about the Colorado River in Texas here.