Issue 22 • Week of June 12, 2022 / Updated May 13, 2023

June 17 was designated the World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought to remind us that we should all know more about our increasingly precarious water supply. "What has been a slow-motion train wreck for 20 years is accelerating, and the moment of reckoning is near," according to recent Senate testimony from the Southern Nevada Water Authority.

The Colorado River system provides water to 40 million people in the western US including major cities like Phoenix, San Diego, Denver, Las Vegas, and Tucson. After carving the Grand Canyon for millions of years, it is facing an emergency shortage for the first time since being administered by the US. Geologists now understand American settlers benefited from one of the wettest centuries of the past 1,300 years which is now coming to an end. Recent droughts will become worse and worse, pushing many communities starting with Native American reservations to the brink of survival.

How has this impending disaster been dismissed for so long?

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