The prolonged drought of 1942-56 affected chiefly the lower part of the Colorado River basin and did not extend into the upper basin (the chief water-producing area) until 1953. Areas served by the Colorado River had adequate water supplies in spite of the local deficiency of precipitation. In the Gila River basin, there was a deficiency of streamflow during the drought years, and the water requirements of the present population exceed the yield of the basin even during years of average precipitation; the deficiency is overcome by mining of ground water.
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