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What Is The Great Basin?

Aridity Breeds Diversity. But it also breeds desire.


The people, plants and animals of the Great Basin Desert define the region. They all depend on one another –– and the limited water supply –– to survive. Life thrives in the desert –– from the foothills of the Eastern Sierra to the undulating ranges of Nevada and the Wasatch Front. But it hangs in the balance.

Snow-capped mountains melt and charge rivers, streams, springs, and creeks every year. That water then recharges aquifers. All those sources give life to wildlife, plant life and human life.

With climate change, increased use, and greater demand, it will be harder to maintain equilibrium. The added threat of water importation, real estate development and other profit-driven interests poses one of the biggest dilemmas for desert communities: Where will the water come from in the future if there are more people and fewer drops of precipitation?

Water is the linchpin of rural and urban economies. But it is the life blood for dozens of endangered species in the region, beautiful desert flora, and businesses that families depend upon to survive.

The Great Basin is more than just craggy mountains and flat valleys. It is home for many.

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