The Main Outlet Drain Extension diverts salty agricultural wastewater from a lovely and politically problematic Arizona irrigation district, southward through varied agro-industrialscapes and Sonoran desert, to its final destination in Mexico’s Cienega de Santa Clara—a singular patch of verdant wilderness in the now largely desiccated Colorado River Delta. Despite the MODE’s unintended resuscitation of this critical wetland, the brine within it is now coveted by anxious and thirsty U.S. municipalities intent on recouping this resource. They’ve deployed the services of a gigantic desalinization plant to reclaim and reroute a portion of this water, while the Mexican Cienega, as a result, faces likely imperilment. This video examines the 73-mile, border-crossing trajectory of this once ignored but now fiercely contested fluid.
Link to the video