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Desert Diary
Ecology/New Jersey Water


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Much of the life of people in the Chihuahuan Desert revolves around water issues: who owns it, who gets it, how to divide it up, how to prioritize use, how to utilize gray water—all sorts of things. Well, of course, you may well say—after all, this IS a desert.

Ah, but it isn't only deserts any more that have to worry about water. Places that we desert rats think of as drowning in water are coming up with their own versions of parched landscapes. A shortage of rain during the winter and spring has put such historically sopping wet areas as New Jersey into emergency mode. Now, this isn't all Mother Nature's fault—paving over much of New Jersey just wasn't forward looking. Now, water falling onto parking lots and building roofs runs off to sea and is lost instead of soaking in to be released slowly.

Droughts eventually end, but many of the natives of the eastern seaboard are about to learn what we've long known: water is primary!
pen and ink


Contributor: Arthur H. Harris, Laboratory for Environmental Biology, Centennial Museum, University of Texas at El Paso.

Desert Diary is a joint production of the Centennial Museum and KTEP National Public Radio at the University of Texas at El Paso.

water drops

Water drops that will never moisten soil.