High good, low bad: Mead in March 2012

The steady rise of Lake Mead, clearinghouse of Colorado River water for the Southwestern US and Mexico, was heartening while it lasted. From a November 2010 low only seven feet shy of triggering shortage declarations, a steady flow into the biggest reservoir in the US throughout 2011 pushed Mead’s elevation 58 feet above the austerity line.

However, in March 2012, the level began to fall again. Look at year-on-year figures from the federal Bureau of Reclamation and it is clear that since 2000 the overwhelming trend has been downward. The entire river system, including Mead, is only 63% of what Reclamation classifies as full.

If there is good news to be had in decline, and there is, part of it is that an innovative landscape architecture instructor at Cal Poly Pomona is tweaking the founding Reclamation mission to “make the desert bloom.” Charged with leading a sustainability studio this winter, teacher 

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Western datebook: ‘Beyond Desire’

"The Furry Hub," P. 42-43 of the catalog imagines combining a number of municipal services in one urban center. The chapter asks: "What if you could change trains and habits in the same place?"

The Fifth Ecology: Los Angeles Beyond Desire” imagines the Los Angeles River re-developed in a way that celebrates and combines wetlands, recreation, transport and recycling. The work of a team of Swedish architects and designers from the Royal University College of Fine Arts in Stockholm, the exhibit opens tomorrow at the g727 gallery, formerly the James Rojas Gallery. A handsome catalog is now available online.

This item was spotted on LA Creek Freak, where Joe Linton has an insightful and affectionate essay about the Swedish team.

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