Transcript for How Water Won the West, segment 02 of 8


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There's so much life in the desert. It waits only to be released, to be set free. Its liberator is water. Much of the western United States is desert. Here, Mother Nature decided to just tease the sage-covered plateaus and dusty plains with a promise of rain, rain that seldom comes. She was, however, much more generous when she applied her forceful artistry to the Rockies and the Sierra Nevadas when she took wind and water in hand to carve the magnificent river canyons of the Colorado and the Rio Grande, when she put shoulder to glacier, pushing and gouging her way through the Columbia Basin.

Then man followed Mother Nature west -- Indians, hunters, trappers, explorers, and finally settlers. These pioneers left behind the east, lush with its abundant rainfall. They found the western desert hostile to their attempts to provide for themselves and their families. So man courted nature. He recognized not only her beauty but the potential of her creations. He took her hand.

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Each, man and nature, brought special and unique offerings to the relationship. Water became their bond.

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