(Text From Blue Legacy's Expedition: Blue Planet)

In July, Expedition Blue Planet explored the headwaters of the Colorado River to investigate how this mighty river is overallocated from the moment its waters touch the ground up in the Rocky Mountains, where the Continental Divide rises like a spine and demarcates the Mississippi watershed that lies to the East from the Colorado watershed that falls to the West.

Today we find that this iconic river still means life for the 20 million people who live in its basin — just as it did for the Native Americans, just as it did for the settlers who drove West and claimed it as their own. But the truth is, the minute it touches the ground, we've allocated every drop and too often we're not even judicious in how we use it.

In this short film, we speak to key voices in the headwaters region and chart the path of the river's flow to investigate water use and management issues in the American West. Here, it's all about what's downstream.

Alexandra Cousteau meets students
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More from the Colorado River Expedition:

Rafting the Colorado River's biggest water


In July 2010, Alexandra Cousteau and her international Expedition Blue Planet team departed on a 14,500-mile journey across North America to investigate global water issues "in the backyard" of one of the world’s leading economies. Living, working and exploring water stories together, Alexandra and her team will use everything from the underwater gear invented by her grandfather to the latest in satellite technology and live social media to bring the thrill of adventure and the wonders of nature to audiences across the globe.

Expedition Blue Planet bus

Colorado River headwaters shaped by demand
Video: Alexandra Cousteau and Expedition Blue Planet explores the headwaters of the Colorado River.