2013-09-06 at 12:33 am #21984
The Chaco Canyon culture has obviously received a bum rap in the book Collapse. The “Anasazi” culture left their cultural center when word arrived of the treatment of the Aztecs by the European invaders. When the Europeans found the Pueblo people there were only small villages with quiet people in them and the large sites, Chaco, Bandelier, etc were not discovered until much later.
The area around Chaco Canyon was green and lush with many lakes, creeks, and other water bodies until the US government dammed the Delores River at McPhee Reservoir. If you drive down the river you will find that it flows south until just north of McPhee a ways where a series of man made locks reverse its flow and dump it into the Colorado. Even after this was all created the river still tried to flow south and a large underground aquaduct was built to carry any overflow back to the Colorado.
Although much of New Mexico is still forested in Pinion and Poderosa, the area around Chaco Canyon and to the north of it is still dry, cracked, and barren but it was not the people who lived there that created this condition.
Just thought the other side of the story should be told.2013-09-23 at 11:45 pm #22261
wow that is interesting. by putting the Delores back we might enable a net increase in the amount of water in the Colorado.2013-09-24 at 2:13 am #22262
I’m having trouble following your reasoning. If we put the Delores back the water would flow, again, through the Chaco Valley and south (probably to the Rio Grande) The net effect would be a decrease in the Colorado flow although that is not entirely true as a lot of the water is diverted for irrigation shortly after entering the Colorado.2013-09-24 at 7:14 am #22265
The idea is trees bring rain.
By sending water into the desert we save the water in the ground and promote long term water conservation. The watercycle is thus fortified more trees grow and more rain falls in the region making everything wetter the net result more water in the Colorado. Slow it. Spread it. Sink it!2014-02-20 at 7:48 pm #46879
….replenishing the ground water stores which is used for irrigation as well.2014-07-20 at 5:18 am #51981
Thank you for your comments on the “Anasazi” and the Chaco canyon culture. I was wondering if you would give me some reading sources that would increase my understanding of the historical hydrology of the area. Farmington, New Mexico, is now my home and I am interested in the geologic and anthropological history of the area (I moved to Farmington in 1996). After I read your comments, I looked up the Delores dam and found it was finally built in the 1980’s (http://www.doloreswater.com/). An archeologist (I just knew him as Diggin’ Dave) once told me that Chaco culture tribes had brought water in a series of flows all the way from Utah. I never questioned or further investigated his claim, but you now have me curious. For instance I often wondered why a dry flat I passed as I traveled from Farmington to Blue Water Lake (where my in-laws live) was called Fence Lake . That may be unrelated, but is in the surrounding area of Chaco Canyon. I would like to know more about Chaco and the Anaszi Indians.2015-02-12 at 8:56 am #56432
Inge Leonora-den OudenParticipant
It’s such a pity ‘history’ often only tells one side of a story, or even changes the real story. What really happened to the people in the past is unclear or unknown, because ‘historians’ were not interested in those (ordinary) people.2015-02-12 at 10:24 am #56434
Another very interesting aspect of the pre-Columbian cultures was the use of fire.
http://permaculteur.free.fr/ecoanarchisme/tending_the_wild.pdf This is a fascinating read.2015-07-07 at 9:29 am #63643
Jim, thank you for the pdf link. I’ve begun to read it and it is absolutely fascinating. Will be passing it on. Namaste.
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