Breathing Room: How melting snowpack is helping out America’s most endangered river

While the above average snow melt is causing shipment issues along the Mighty Mississippi, it is providing some breathing room for the Colorado River.

The river has been suffering a severe drought, hitting historic lows. In fact, it was deemed America’s most endangered river earlier this year, but forecasts now show the melting snow along Lake Powell could allow levels to hit 177 percent above average this year, raising the surface by 50 feet.

Experts say this does not solve the western water crisis, but it does buy the reserve some time. The Colorado River supplies nearly six million farmland acres with water.