This was a student project by Kymberly Ware for Forbes Lipschitz's course LARCH 4970 in Spring 2019.
Western High Plains 2075 projects 55 years into the future to consider the impact of climate change on the Western High Plains ecoregion. In its current condition, the region’s predominant land use is irrigated agriculture. It overlies the quickly depleting ancient Ogallala Aquifer and much of the water supply for these irrigated fields is pumped from this nonrenewable resource at a rate of about 150 gallons per day. The primary source of recharge for this water system are the ephemeral playa lake wetlands that collect storm water and runoff which percolates through the soil into the substrate. Playa Lakes also are an important habitat for waterfowl and other birds traveling through the region along the Central Flyway. This design implements a Playa Lake Migration Corridor that extends southward along which leaky water well irrigation will respond to the satellite tracking of the birds to create a responsive system of Playa Lakes. On the ground level, the corridor will be re-wilded with bison, and the population will be controlled by expanded Arapaho transhumance. The remaining agricultural practices of the region will consist of drought tolerant GMO crop production in the north and the southern region’s primary economy will be marijuana and hemp production.
Project Location: EPA Level III Ecoreigon 25: High Plains