Water in the Southwest

Desert Development

After visiting the Scottsdale area recently, we were struck by the incredible development and population in an area that has very little water.  Irrigated golf courses everywhere?  Really?  While we’re sure it has been considered a marvel of engineering and mankind’s triumph over nature to be able to support such infrastructure in the middle of the desert, in the terms of this millennium’s trends  (ie sustainablilty), it seems quite bizarre.  That we are from the wet east coast no doubt plays into this observation.

Nonetheless, the following article points out the challenges of over-development in arid areas and the folly in some water politics.  That rainwater harvesting and greywater reuse is illegal in some areas illustrates the crazy misguided politics.  Seems to be pretty much the opposite of sustainability at the most basic level.

Lake Mead Is Drying Up | GOOD.

Arid dwellers, do comment to share your perspective.


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This entry was posted in Land Planning, Landscape Architecture, Other Interesting Stuff, Stormwater Management, Sustainable Development. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Water in the Southwest

  1. Pingback: Arid Stormwater « Sustainable Stormwater Management

  2. J. Sampson says:

    As a UNM MLA student, you come to realize that the SW was built on smoke and mirrors… and has been for generations. If there is a “start” it was with manifest destiny and continued through to the post WWII age. Relying on civil engineering to tap into the aquafer to keep development going was only the first mistake with many to follow. Though NM has a better grasp on sustainability than AZ when it comes to water consumption, we’re still lagging. The sad truth is that planning professionals and engineers alike do not think strategically for long term environmental health. I suspect it is because there is very minor environmental protections in this area; thus, the public has little or no chance to evaluate potential impacts on the land. Where to end this discussion….?

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