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The battle for water in America: Where the drought hits

The battle for water in America: Where the drought hits

I amn Arizona It’s easy to forget the disaster for a moment. South of Phoenix, in the Sonoran Desert, saguaros rise like proud pillars from the earth. Magnificent cacti resist the blazing sun, which makes the mountains in the background glow red. An hour south of the state capital, Marlboro’s landscape belies Pinal County’s agricultural heartland, whose importance extends far beyond Arizona.

Majid Sattar

North American political reporter based in Washington.

Away from the desert landscape, large farmlands are lined. 40 degrees in the shade this late summer. Sand blows across dry cotton fields. A coyote stalks in the distance. A tornado swirls dust over dry land. Nancy Gaywood calls them “dust devils.” Dust devils haunt the fields like a bad omen.

A 68-year-old farmer stands in front of his farm office outside the village of Casa Grande; Next to her are two old tractors: a green 1936 John Deere and a red 1947 Farmall. Nancy’s son Travis is now the fourth generation running the business. In Arizona, which only became a state in 1912, the Gawoods have long been established.

Nancy Kaywood at Kaywood Farm

Nancy Kaywood at Kaywood Farm

Picture: Majid Sattar

Nancy’s grandfather moved to Arizona from Texas in the 1920s. He first leased the land and later bought it in 1929. With the two tractors that now adorn the sidewalk, he grew cotton; Then barley. Both items play a minor role on the farm today. This has to do with the fact that Nancy’s grandfather had undertaken in the purchase agreement not to drill any wells on his land. The fields are irrigated by the San Carlos Reservoir, which stores water from the Gila River, a tributary of the Colorado River. The lake is on the Apache Reservation. Coolidge Dam was originally built by the Bureau of Indian Affairs for flood control. On that day droughts So Grandpa didn’t think so. A canal was dug and irrigation was provided for decades.

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