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The Colorado River is the 18th longest river in the United Statesmarker and the longest river with both its source and mouth within Texasmarker; however its drainage basin and some of its usually dry tributaries do extend into New Mexicomarker. The long river flows generally southeast from Dawson Countymarker through Marble Fallsmarker, Austinmarker, Bastropmarker, Smithvillemarker, La Grangemarker, Columbusmarker, Whartonmarker, and Bay Citymarker before emptying into the Gulf of Mexicomarker at Matagorda Baymarker.

Course

The Colorado River originates south of Lubbock, Texasmarker, on the Llano Estacadomarker, near Lamesa, Texasmarker. It flows generally southeast, out of the Llano Estacado and through the Texas Hill Country, through several reservoirs including Lake J.B. Thomas, E.V. Spence Reservoir, and Lake O.H. Ivie. The river flows through several more reservoirs before reaching Austinmarker, including Lake Buchanan, Lake Lyndon B. Johnson, and Lake Travis. The Llano Rivermarker joins the Colorado south of Lake Buchanan. After passing through Austin, the Colorado River continues flowing southeast until emptying into Matagorda Baymarker on the Gulf of Mexico, near Matagordamarker.

History

The Colorado River, which means "colored red", was frequently confused by Spanish explorers with the Brazos River to the north. It is this confusion as well as an alleged mapping error that is believed to have led to its misnaming.

The upper Colorado River was controlled by Comanches from the early 1700s to the late 1800s. In 1757, Spanish Texas attempted to establish an outlying mission on the San Saba Rivermarker, near its confluence with the Colorado River. Nearly defenseless and viewed by the Comanche as a territorial invasion, the mission was sacked in 1758 by about 2,000 Comanches and their allies. The Comanche were not effectively challenged on the upper Colorado River for nearly a century.

River modifications

The river is an important source of water for farming, cities, and electrical power production. Major man-made reservoirs on the river include Lake Buchananmarker, Inks Lakemarker, Lake LBJmarker, Lake Marble Fallsmarker, Lake Travismarker, Lake Austinmarker, and Lady Bird Lakemarker in Austin. Collectively, these lakes are known as the Highland Lakes. In addition to power plants operating on each of the major lakes, waters of the Colorado are used for cooling the South Texas Nuclear Projectmarker, near Bay City. The Colorado River Municipal Water District owns and operates three reservoirs upstream of the Highland Lakes, Lake J. B. Thomas near Snyder, E. V. Spence Reservoir near Robert Lee, and O. H. Ivie Reservoir near Ballinger.

Flood control and use of the Colorado River is managed by two agencies established by the Texas Legislature, the Upper Colorado River Authority, and the Lower Colorado River Authority. There are 11 major reservoirs along the Colorado River.

The Colorado River also has made many geographic landmarks such as Deep Eddy Poolmarker in Austin, Texas.

File:Colorado River of Texas IMG 0784.JPG|Beginning portion of the Colorado River of Texas under the Regency Suspension Bridgemarker on the border of Millsmarker and San Sabamarker counties.File:Colorado River under bridge in Wharton, TX IMG 1056.JPG|Scenic view of Colorado River meandering under a bridge overpass under Texas State Highway 60 in Whartonmarker.File:PennybackerBridge.jpg|Pennybacker Bridgemarker crossing the Colorado River or Lake Austin.

Notes

  1. http://www.wordreference.com/es/en/translation.asp?spen=Colorado
  2. Online at Google Books


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