Brandon Loomis at the Arizona Republic, with an O’Brien Fellowship in Public Service Journalism through the Diederich College of Communication at Marquette University, is trying to help us with this:
Will Arizona and the Southwest continue to lead the nation in growth as the Colorado River dries?
The first round of stories, with Republic photographer Mark Henle, is terrific:
John, you should write a whole chapter on the Salt River.
When I lived in Tempe (1994-1996), the Salt River was a desert wasteland. A gully with pebbles. It wasn’t even conceivable that it could be a river with water in it. It was more likely that the moon would be the 51st state.
I still don’t really understand how they did that, or how it’s sustainable. It’s a symbol of something.
Since the southwest has been populated in recent decades in part by people leaving the “rust belt” of Pennsylvania and Ohio and Michigan, what will the southwest be called when people start leaving because of water? The “dry belt?”