How the States Got Their Shapes

Season 1 Episode 1

A River Runs Through It

Aired Tuesday 10:00 PM May 03, 2011 on The History Channel



  • Quotes

    • Mark: When California became a state, when it created its own boundaries, they were primarily these straight-line boundaries that were keeping these mountains in California for the gold, but they also had a concern about water. That eastern boundary of California, a nice straight line, and then it squiggles. That squiggle, it goes down to the gulf of California, is the Colorado river.
      Brian: For 80 years, the river was just a line on the map. But, starting in the 1930's, California began draining off the Colorado. They turned desert into farmland - now producing almost 80% of America's winter vegetables. So how much water does California take from the Colorado? 1.5 trillion gallons - more than is consumed by Seattle, Las Vegas, St. Louis, Minneapolis, Chicago, New Orleans, Miami, Washington, DC., Philadelphia and New York City - combined. Or, more than enough to cover all of New Jersey in one foot of water - every year.

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