Report names Colorado River most endangered river - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Report names Colorado River most endangered river

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LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -

The water supply for Las Vegas could be in jeopardy. A new report released Wednesday names the Colorado River as the most endangered river in the country.

Conservation groups said water levels are too low to meet demand, and it doesn't help another drought is expected this summer.

Besides providing drinking water to millions of people and water for crops, the Colorado River is also home to hundreds of businesses, including the Las Vegas Boat Harbor.

"It is definitely a bad situation," said Bob Gripentog, who owns the Las Vegas Boat Harbor. "We've been in a drought for 12 years."

Gripentog's family has owned the Las Vegas Boat Harbor since 1957. The marina employs 100 people.

"We not only work here but we play here," said Gripentog. "This is what we do for our life."

According to American Rivers, a river conservation group, outdated water management and years of drought have put the desert's lifeline on top of its most endangered rivers list.

"The river is so drained and diverted," said Matt Rice of American Rivers. "It dries up to a trickle. Overallocation and drought have placed significant stress on water supplies, river health, fish and wildlife."

"I don't think it's a surprise that they have named it," said Jayne Harkins of the Colorado River Commission. "They have named it in the past."

Harkins said on average Lake Mead loses 13 feet of water every drought season. She admits the commission is concerned about water supply and it's working on getting federal funds.

"The states along with the federal government are working on what the next steps are from the basin study," said Harkins.

Las Vegas Boat Harbor employee Patrick King fears time is running out.

"Hopefully it gets better," said King. "People need to realize it doesn't just affect us."

Back in 2002, the Las Vegas Boat Harbor had to move several miles down the lake due to low water levels. The owner said the move set him back $100,000.

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