Lifeblood of the Desert

Sara Hammond / AZPM

The Santa Cruz River is a big reason why Tucson exists, and has for thousands of years. But, like other desert waterways, the river doesn't always flow. Reuse of treated wastewater is bringing sections of the riverbed to life.

Maya Springhawk Robnett / KAWC Colorado River Public Media

In Yuma, Arizona, the Colorado River is not what it was.  For thousands of years, its raging water deposited rich soil in the delta, creating one of the most verdant agricultural areas in the world.  Today, the river flow is 1 percent of what it was a century ago, but agriculture continues to thrive even as the water needed to maintain it dwindles due to over-allocation and drought.