Desert’s Water

Since the weather in the region is normally dry, the Arches Region of Utah is considered the driest region of a dry country. Since the Arches Region of Utah is a desert, it is a popular tourist destination. The harsh conditions and lack of water, however, turn off the majority of tourists who visit the area. Despite the harsh climatic conditions in the Arches region of Utah, its residents are satisfied with the region’s beauty as a stunning barren desert that attracts tourists for photo opportunities.
The sun shines most of the time in Utah’s arches area, and it rarely rains. This region’s precipitation is estimated to be nearly five to nine inches; however, this is a statistical average which could be a low estimate since the region’s rainfall and snowfall vary from year to year. Whenever it rains in this region, due to it’s uncovered rocks the water runs down the cliff through the deep valleys and domes and finds its way into the river of Colorado. The rains however rarely moisturize the desert due to the evaporation of the water halfway between the clouds and the earth because of the high temperatures in this desert region of Utah. Therefore, due to the lack of moisturization, the vegetation in this region usually withers and dries up because of the lack of water.

Additionally, due to the lack of rain in the Arches Region of Utah, its streambeds or springs are usually dry. They only carry water after the storm though briefly and dry up after a few hours. Likewise, this region of Utah has a few springs or waterholes that are far apart. However, the region’s springs are not as rare as the streams, and they are found in places deep the valleys. The water from the springs usually rises and flows in rills above the rocks and beneath the sand. In spite of the water rising and emanating from the springs, it does not flow any further before it disappears into the air and dry ground below and later resurfaces down the canyons. These springs are therefore a source of life to the plants such as the cottonwoods and other plants that grow along the springs and on the valley walls. The cottonwoods and other plants, upon absorbing the water from the streambeds during the day, they release the water in the evening that is usually consumed by the people living in the desert who will dig for this water. The lack of water in this region is a menace to the visitors, some of them unaware that they are required to carry at least a gallon of water, usually become victims of the desert’s scorching sun, and the extreme temperatures hence succumb to death.

Besides, this region has only two perennial streams namely the Salt Creek which is too salty to drink and the Onion Creek which consequently has a higher concentration of arsenic and sulfur. For instance, the Onion Spring found to the Northeast of Moab contains a mild poison known as selenium which is mostly in found in association with a more dangerous poison called uranium. The waters in the onion spring also contain sulfur and usually on approaching the spring one will smell the sulfurous stink in the air. The Onion Spring water looks clean and drinkable, but no one goes to the spring to get the water because of its poisonous content of selenium, sulfur, and uranium. In addition to the Onion Springs, there are also other such toxic springs in the American desert. They include the Badwater pool in Death Valley, the Dirty Devil River and other springs in the canyonlands.

Despite Utah being characterized as a desert place that rarely receives rainfall, it, however, receives heavy rainfall accompanied with thunderstorm and lightning during the month of July and August. During this period, the clouds often form over the mountains, especially during the afternoons. Ones the clouds merged over the mountains, the ions collide and as a result to thunder and lightning. As the desert experiences the formation of clouds and thunder and lightning, it, however, does not receive any rain during that period. However, soon after the initial thunderstorm and lightning, the desert receives torrential downpour accompanied by thunderstorms and lightning. Nevertheless, the heavy rainfall does not last long; it is approximated last up to five minutes after which it quickly trails off, then diminishes to a shower, a sprinkler and a few minutes later, nothing at all.

After the storms, approximately an hour later, the flash floods often follow bursting from the hills and the canyons without any warning. The desert flash floods are usually massive as they are dense with mud and sand. These floods also have an immense force capable of ripping off roots of small plants, weeds, and shrubs. After a few hours the floods dwindle off, and bars of quicksand are formed. Quicksand can be defined as a mixture of sand and water where the water’s upward force neutralizes the frictional strength of the particles of the sand. Therefore if there are a greater water force and a higher saturation, the sand will be unable to bear such a force hence the possibility of people and animals sinking whenever they stand on the quicksand which could fatal if there is no help forthcoming.

It is important to note that after the storms have stopped and the flashfloods dumping their loads of silt into the Colorado River, rainwater can still be found in the desert. The water can be found in natural cisterns or potholes, rubs, tanks, and basins that form in the soft sandstone as a result of the strong erosive forces. These natural reservoirs, rubs, tanks, and ponds act as little catchment basins during the rainy seasons and can store some water a few months after the rain has stopped. However, the length of storage is depended on their shapes and the level of evaporation. Such places are therefore attractive to living creatures such as birds and animals including humans.

The lack of water in the desert has however been mitigated through the drilling of wells and the construction of storage tanks in the Southwest Region. Therefore one can argue that there is no water shortage in the desert but the right amount. The desert, thus, makes the arid West distinct from other parts of America, not due to the lack of water but the right amount of water. This right amount is due to the correct ratios of water to rock and water to sand that ensure that there is a wide, free, open and enough space between, trees, animals, homes, and towns in the West parts of the country.

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