Earth Inc.: Water War

A real estate developer's scheme to build a lake in a desert region seemed ludicrous. But maybe he's not all wet

When Dave Wameling first heard that someone was building a lake near the desert town of Indio, Calif., he figured it was another case of a misguided entrepreneur spending too many hours in the 110[degree] sun. What kind of pie-in-the-sky promoter would dream up that one?

A real estate developer, natch. That's why the Indio water-pump operator, who maintains the machinery that taps the city's aquifer, can't help muttering expletives while staring at Shadow Lake, a string-bean-shaped body of water that appeared last year. "I've lived here 50 years," says Wameling, "and I never expected to see someone waste water on...

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