First, they depleted their freshwater aquifers. Now, companies from the Middle East are pumping up limited water supplies in the Arizona desert and exporting it back to Saudi Arabia and elsewhere in the form of hay.
“Camels Don’t Fly, Deserts Don’t Bloom,” a new documentary produced by seven graduate students at Arizona State University, tracks both the business of exporting water from the Southwest desert and the angry reaction of local residents, who are fast seeing their water disappear. They interviewed me for their 15-minute film that expands on revelations I first reported about Middle Eastern companies mining the limited water in Arizona after similarly depleting aquifers in Saudi Arabia.
The ASU class is a partnership between the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication and the School of Sustainability. Here is the documentary: