Will Drought Ruin the Southwest?

 A dry canal is filled with weeds on February 6, 2014 near Bakersfield, California. California is in its third straight year of unprecedented drought.

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.