SILT BEHIND HYDROELECTRIC SKY
First of the NoVOGRAFÍAS books containing a poetic meditation on the desert landscape in English and Spanish. Also included a limited edition print, tshirt and mural. December 2012 book release in Tucson included a performance of the "Silt Behind Hydroelectric Sky" poem.
Desert rivers have eroded the surrounding landscape since time immemorial. This constant wearing-down of the sedimentary rock has always made their waters warm and laden with silt. In fact the process has been going on so long that the mightiest of these rivers, called the Colorado by the first Europeans to see its sandy color, has over time raised the level of the seafloor at its mouth in the Gulf of California. The hollow of Grand Canyon is now sand dunes and sea bottom, part of a continental remix.
This process was temporarily halted in the first half of the 20th century thanks to the U.S. government’s construction of the huge hydroelectric dams that span the Colorado and other rivers in the region. There is no feasible way to mitigate the immense plains of silt that are inevitably building up behind the dams; sooner or later the reservoirs will be filled with sand.