drylands – mammoth // building nothing out of something

Tag Archives: drylands

the commonwealth approach

[The following is the text and (a slightly condensed set of) slides from the presentation that Laurel McSherry and I gave at the Drylands Design Conference in late March. The presentation walks through our highly speculative proposal for the reconfiguration of the political geography of the United States to better conform to the spatial distribution […]

nambe falls dam

[The strangely geometric edge of Nambe Falls Dam in New Mexico; Nambe Falls Dam is a component of the San Juan-Chama Project, which delivers water from the San Juan River Basin through 26 miles of tunnels under the Continental Divide into the basins of the Rio Grande and Rio Chama, providing drinking water for Albuquerque; […]

center pivot pixelation

[A particularly stark example of the pixelated patterns produced by pivot irrigation, in northern Saudi Arabia. The patterns produced by irrigation in Saudi Arabia are so stark because what water is available in the Arabian penisula is buried as fossil waters at such great depths that wells may reach as much as three thousand feet […]

drylands design conference

[The Colorado River Basin as a hydrological mega-object; image by the Commonwealth Approach project team: Alex Gonski, Rob Holmes, Rebecca May, and Laurel McSherry.] I mentioned a little while ago that Laurel McSherry and I would be presenting our work on “The Commonwealth Approach” at the Arid Lands Institute’s Drylands Design Conference near the end […]

giant tube to supply water for ten millions

The wonder of inter-basin transfer, in the August 1937 issue of Popular Mechanics: (The cover of that same issue, which wonders at the electrical power produced by and transmitted from Lake Mead, is also worth a look.)

dry commonwealths

[The eighty-six proposed “commonwealths” of the lower forty-eight states, from “The Commonwealth Approach”.] 1 I can’t take too much credit for our win — we borrowed the main idea from a pair of earlier competition entries Laurel produced. I’m excited that “The Commonwealth Approach”, an entry to the Arid Lands Institute’s Drylands Design Competition that […]