Window Seat: A Land and Water Use Perspective

I recently completed a few legal assignments for Telisport Putsavage, an attorney with more than 30 years of experience practicing environmental law.  He has served as Assistant Counsel of the New York Department of Environmental Conservation and Assistant Attorney General in the Maryland Department of the Environment.  He also rarely travels without his camera.

Telisport shot these photos during a flight from Phoenix to Washington, DC.  Water scarcity and land use are two themes depicted in his images.  The photo below shows a wildfire east of Phoenix.  This fire is most likely the Whitewater – Baldy Fire, the largest fire in New Mexico’s history, which was caused by severe drought and above-normal temperatures.

      
The photos below show different styles of irrigation used in the Great Plains.  Central pivot irrigation creates circle formations, while lateral spray and drip irrigation methods allow for an entire square plot of land to be watered.  The photo to the left also depicts the wells that most likely lead to an underground aquifer where the water is sourced.

   

The photos below show drier areas of land used for agriculture.  Water for irrigation is typically sourced from groundwater aquifers (extracted from springs or wells), or surface water from rivers and lakes.  However, in extremely dry areas, treated wastewater, desalinated water, or drainage water can be used.  USGS estimates that 60% of the world’s freshwater withdrawals go toward irrigation uses.

   

The photo below and to the left shows an area of land that is most likely irrigated with water from the river running through the center.  To the bottom right is an area that is probably subject to natural gas drilling.  Perhaps it was taken somewhere above the Barnett Shale.

                         

The final photo shows an area where mineral resources are being extracted.  Thanks for sharing Tel!

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