The West: Dying of Thirst

To much of the U.S., the spring of 1961 consisted of rain, rain and more rain. But not in the Far West, a land where water is life—and, in many places, disaster is building.

Last week the levels in irrigation tanks sank low from the Dakotas to New Mexico. Montana wheat farmers expected slender harvests this year. Utah ranchers gazed out upon dried-up springs and pondered how to water their herds. In Nevada.

Reno residents went on voluntary water ration. Lake Tahoe was being tapped for the first time, and Governor Grant Sawyer declared: "Our whole state is a disaster area."

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