Recreation: Lakemakers

In the middle of a sun-scorched desert, in thirsty earth so deep-down dry that it could soak up Niagara Falls, the blue waters of a sailboat-dotted lake ripple and lap at the parched shore. A mirage? No—the product of a burgeoning new business: lakemaking.

The main problem of lakemaking in arid areas is not in getting the water—it is almost always to be had by deep drilling —but in holding it. The new solution is a lake lining of seepage-proof polyethylene plastic only six millimeters thick (asphalt and clay break up under water after a time; cement is too expensive)....

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