THE DAM

We did not know what we would discover.
We knew only that a singular monument to man's industrious spirit, a dam, was altering the handiwork of God, the Grand Canyon.

For six months, Kathleen Stanton roamed the West: From the rapids of the Colorado River beneath the towering walls of Zoroaster's Throne to bureaucratic corridors in Salt Lake City; from computerized war rooms in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains to the county morgue in the Valley of the Sun, she gathered data.

The story is not a simple tale.
In Phoenix, Arizona, the Sonoran landscape generated 143 days last year where the temperature shot above 100 degrees. Despite infernolike conditions, the community is one that has exploded with growth since World War II; only seven cities in the nation are larger. This expansion was fueled in substantial measure by the dam's cheap electricity which helped power the desert's water pumps and air conditioning.

Even so, New Times uncovered a trail of heat-induced deaths that was unprecedented and unreported.

Against this backdrop of mortality, a story emerged that was composed of explorers, ancient peoples, entrepreneurs, terrorists, scientists, tourists, farmers, business executives, conservationists, government employees, politicians, fish, wildlife, plants and minerals.

In her journey, Stanton reveals the elements of the American dream, a vision that is hotly contested between those who would subdue a hostile environment and those who would preserve the eighth wonder of the world.

--Michael Lacey, Editor THE DAM
set in clearface black

We did not know what we would discover.
We knew only that a singular monument to man's industrious spirit, a dam, was altering the handiwork of God, the Grand Canyon.

For six months, Kathleen Stanton roamed the West: From the rapids of the Colorado River beneath the towering walls of Zoroaster's Throne to bureaucratic corridors in Salt Lake City; from computerized war rooms in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains to the county morgue in the Valley of the Sun, she gathered data.

The story is not a simple tale.
In Phoenix, Arizona, the Sonoran landscape generated 143 days last year where the temperature shot above 100 degrees. Despite infernolike conditions, the community is one that has exploded with growth since World War II; only seven cities in the nation are larger. This expansion was fueled in substantial measure by the dam's cheap electricity which helped power the desert's water pumps and air conditioning.

Even so, New Times uncovered a trail of heat-induced deaths that was unprecedented and unreported.

Against this backdrop of mortality, a story emerged that was composed of explorers, ancient peoples, entrepreneurs, terrorists, scientists, tourists, farmers, business executives, conservationists, government employees, politicians, fish, wildlife, plants and minerals.

In her journey, Stanton reveals the elements of the American dream, a vision that is hotly contested between those who would subdue a hostile environment and those who would preserve the eighth wonder of the world.

 
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