A river used to run through it: how New Mexico handles a dwindling Rio Grande


The Rio Grande used to flow freely, but now in Las Cruces, humans, fish and plants are vying for water in the arid landscape

Imagine the world without its most famous rivers: Egypt without the Nile, or London without the Thames. In Las Cruces, New Mexico, residents don’t have to envision the American west without the Rio Grande – it runs dry in their city almost every single year.

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