Shaping the world by watershed


If you had the chance, how would you recreate the United States?

John Lavey, a land use planner at the Sonoran Institute, designed this map that divvies up the country by its watersheds. The idea is to use water more efficiently while minimizing conflicts over its use.

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Click map for larger view.

He gerrymandered state boundaries by Hydrologic Unit Codes, keeping capitals and national borders intact.

Not a bad idea.

Here’s a better one: Instead of separating the watersheds of the Great Lakes, let’s create a single state consisting of the entire drainage basin.

That’s a division consistent with Echo’s readership – and one with significant political clout.

  • Gary

    A 1981 book — The Nine Nations of North America — proposed a similar concept using economic and cultural similarities instead of water to draw boundaries.

    A good portion of the Great Lakes region was a in a “nation” called “The Foundry.” Does that descriptor apply 30+ years later?

    Here’s the 1981 book.

    Gary Wilson