It may surprise some Americans to know that within our thriving, capitalist culture there is a growing segment of people living in third world conditions, with limited access to water and proper sanitation. What is not surprising is most of these people live in or on the edge of poverty. In an era of large … Continue reading The Price of Comfort
A fractured skull and a bullet lodged in the side would be enough to take down most men, but Jack Swilling wasn’t like most men. One of Arizona’s most colorful characters, Jack had a disposition that varied based upon who you talked to and the amount of opiate-laced painkiller he drank. Family members considered him … Continue reading Arizona Water Pioneers – Jack Swilling
Few people might equate silence with power but that’s just the sort of paradox that defined Carl Hayden. Known as the “Silent Senator”, on the occasions when Hayden spoke before Congress, it was always with brevity and impact. What little Hayden said usually spoke volumes to his colleagues. He was known as a man of … Continue reading Arizona Water Pioneers – Carl Hayden
Like a late-blooming teenager, 19th century Arizona was still trying to define itself. Soldiers, miners, and rugged pioneers gradually made their way to Arizona to begin life anew in a challenging landscape. These early pioneers quickly realized water was both the key to their survival and a powerful force to reckon with. Water, in the … Continue reading Arizona Water Pioneers – William Beardsley
Historically, water has always been a problem in the American southwest. In the 19th century, the problem was either too much water or too little. Too much came in the form of sporadic, intense storms producing uncontrollable flood waters which destroyed everything in its path. Too little resulted from prolonged drought conditions or attempts to … Continue reading Southwest Water History – The American Canal
Arizona’s history is colored by feuds and fights; the most famous being the OK Corral in Tombstone. One of the most protracted fights in Arizona history was with California over water allocations from the Colorado River. Political leaders in both states have fought bitterly over water rights for decades. Threats of fistfights and filibusters were … Continue reading Arizona Water History – Marshaling Martial Law
Years ago I remember reading reports on the connection between the cattle industry and global warming. The articles spoke about how cow flatulence (cow farts) produced excessive amounts of methane, one of the worst gases contributing to global warming. I dismissed the stories mainly because the reporters’ irreverent slants on cow farts impacting our atmosphere … Continue reading Cow-tastrophe in the Making – Environmental Impacts of the Cattle Industry.
There is a little-known provision in the Safe Drinking Water Act of 1974 (SDWA) called an “Aquifer Exemption” that allows oil, gas and mining industries to legally impact groundwater – including some aquifers set aside for drinking water. While these industries have purported to install wells and perform activities with no leakage and permanent protection, … Continue reading Aquifer Exemptions – the Legal Way to Pollute Groundwater
Most people think access to water is a God-given right, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. History is filled with legal precedents trying to resolve basic water rights; essentially sorting out the “haves versus the have-nots”. Even today, in water-scarce areas like South Africa and the Middle East, unstable governments are allowing private … Continue reading Is water a God-given right?