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Making Rain in the American Southwest: How Irrigation Strengthens the Monsoon

Mad science. That’s what I thought when I first read the 1973 Scientific American classic ‘The Control of the Water Cycle’ by Professors Jose Peixoto and Ali Kettani. The two discussed a radical idea, originally proposed by their colleagues Victor Starr and David Anati of MIT. Why not build giant, solar-heated water vapor towers on…

Reclaiming the Colorado River?

By Rod Parnell of Northern Arizona University The American Southwest faces water challenges, and few easy solutions are in sight. Demand for water is increasing rapidly: as the primary water resource in the Southwest, the Colorado River (see map) sustains seven U.S. states and Mexico, including major – and fast-growing – cities like Los Angeles,…

Photographer Pays Tribute to America’s Monumental Southwest

The rock towers, canyons, basins, petrified dunes, stone arches, sand pipes, and other geology formations of America’s desert Southwest are a marvel of the planet. Spread over hundreds of thousands of acres and encompassed for the large part in numerous parks and monuments — including icons such as the Grand Canyon, Bryce, Zion, and Canyonlands…