Book review: Ground/Water: The Art, Design and Science of a Dry River

  • Architecture student Mathew Propst imagines green mixed-use facilities that include residences and food production facilities in Tucson's future.

    Confluencenter for Creative Inquiry
  • Jennifer Heinfeld, also an architecture student, envisions new recreational spaces for the dry Rillito riverbed.

    Confluencenter for Creative Inquiry

Ground/Water: The art, design and science of a dry river,
edited by Ellen McMahon, Ander Monson, and Beth Weinstein,
112 pages,
hardcover: $48.
The University of Arizona Press, 2012.

Arizona's Rillito River runs from the Santa Catalina Mountains through Tucson to join the Santa Cruz River. "Except it doesn't run," writes journalist Nathaniel Brodie in Ground/Water: The Art, Design and Science of a Dry River. Increasing water demand has dried up the river for most of the year. Yet in Tucson, the broad wash and its tributaries still "lend a certain wonderful, organic disorder to the scene." Through essays, poetry, art, architecture, photography and modern design, the contributors provide a fresh look at how water policy and climate have changed ground and surface water in the Southwest. The book itself is a work of art, with letterpress-printed covers, sewn binding and lush full-color pages.

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