Chasing Water

Peter McBride, 18 Minutes

Nov 23, 2011
Outside Magazine

Growing up on a Colorado cattle ranch, photojournalist Peter McBride would spend long hours irrigating the family fields—and wondering how long it would take for the excess water to flow to the sea. Over a three-year period, he paddled, flew, and walked the 1500-mile length of the Colorado River to track its path through the U.S. to Mexico and satisfy his boyhood curiosity. With stunning cinematography, McBride captures a “symphony of human thirst” as the Colorado is tapped in every direction along his journey, supplying water to 30 million people and 3.5 million acres of farmland. Forced to abandon his kayak in Mexico, McBride finds that the Colorado turns into a dried up delta long before reaching the Gulf of California. The harrowing message: “For 6 million years, the Colorado ran to the sea. Since ’98, it has not...We are all eating the Colorado.” 

READ MORE: Peter McBride’s Colorado River, March 2011

READ MORE: Peter McBride’s Colorado River March 2011, Joe Spring