[Flash Forward] Water Would Be Nice

Water Would Be Nice

04/12/2018 by Rose Eveleth

Web player: http://podplayer.net/?id=59707322
Episode: https://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/traffic.megaphone.fm/PPY5708815925.mp3

What happens when the Rio Grande dries up? The river is often overshadowed, at least in the US, by the Colorado River. But the Rio Grande creates the border between US and Mexico, and the water that flows through it is at the center of a looming geopolitical crisis. So what happens when towns, farms and cities on both sides of the border start to run out of water?


Naveena Sadasivam: staff writer at the Texas Observer covering the environment, energy and climate and co-author on the series Shallow Waters
Zoë Schlanger: staff writer at Quartz covering the environment, and co-author on the series Shallow Waters
Flavio Lehner: Climate scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research
J. Alfredo Rodríguez-Pineda: Water program coordinator at the WWF


Bombas (use code FLASH at checkout)
Papers mentioned in the ad: Deranged Socks, Sock Matching exercise, Sock sorting

→ → → Links to sources and further reading available here ← ← ←

Flash Forward is produced by me, Rose Eveleth. The intro music is by Asura and the outtro music is by Hussalonia. The episode art is by Matt Lubchansky.

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Listen Date: 2019-02-10


  • This takes me back to all the longreads I was reading a few years ago about the California drought; the Army Corps of Engineers’ manipulation of the Missisippi river; and of course to Paolo Bacipugli’s The Water Knife
  • How very impressive to learn that El Paso is sending all its sewage back as drinking water (in a good way)
  • As Rose Eveleth mentioned in the beginning, this was more of a present than a future. The future is even scarier.
  • The kind of water treatment required – especially if one site – will run into hellish land use restrictions in Delhi. Gah.


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