Will Drought Ruin the Southwest?

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Harper's contributing editor Christopher Ketcham reports on the dying Colorado River, which has been diverted by a series of dams to supply water to the parched Southwest. Ketcham talks about rafting down the river from Utah to Arizona with an environmentalist and the water manager for the city of Denver—two men with dramatically opposed views on how this precious resource should be used. A solution must be found, though, because neither the cities of the Southwest nor California agriculture can ultimately survive if the river runs dry. His article "Razing Arizona" is in the April 2014 issue of Harper's.


Christopher Ketcham

Comments [5]

jgarbuz from Queens

Israel produces 95% of its own food even though only 20% of the country's land is arable and not optimal for agriculture, and yet Israel has become a mini-agricultural powerhouse with a population density well over 12 times our own. And look at Singapore. I'm an optimist when I look at countries with so much more drastically worse natural conditions who have overcome them to become wealth successful countries nonetheless. I'm tired of the liberal doom n' gloom crowd. If we manage wisely we can overcome all problems.

Apr. 03 2014 01:42 PM
Eric from Manhattan.

FWIW: This book is not available at the NYPL.

Apr. 03 2014 01:34 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

Many middle eastern countries, especially Israel, have turned to desalinization of seawater. How practical is this for the Southwest and California?

Apr. 03 2014 01:31 PM
Eric from Manhattan

There is excellent trout fishing below the Glen Canyon dam. The trout can live there bc as your guest said: the water is unnaturally cold. This has increased tourism in the area and I have to say, I didn't mind catching beautiful rainbow trout in the middle of a desert.

Apr. 03 2014 01:30 PM
thatgirl from manhattan

And what of the gas/oil cabal outbidding agribusiness for that water source for hydrofracking?

Apr. 03 2014 01:28 PM

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