Transcript for The Rio Grande, segment 05 of 9
The Colorado portion of the Rio Grande Basin seems a different land. This is higher country with a bracing climate and an abundance of scenery. Rising to over fourteen thousand feet above sea level, the San Juan Mountains catch great amounts of rain and snow from the passing storms. In these snowbanks is the Rio Grande, waiting only the touch of warm, spring sun. At the foot of the mountains lies the San Luis Valley through which the Rio Grande flows. Thousands of years ago this was a lake bed. Now it is a scenic valley used for farming and ranching. Settled only about one hundred years ago, the land was irrigated where possible. In the twentieth century, the irrigators themselves financed and built several reservoirs in the mountains and have made the land productive. Today the San Luis Valley Project constructed by the Bureau of Reclamation helps to insure an adequate water supply for the valley's agricultural industry.