Millennia ago, when Native Americans hunter-gatherers populated its basin, Walker Lake, in the middle of a desert, was sustained by its rivers with perhaps 300,000 acre-feet of water each year. Since the 1930s water diversions for agriculture have reduced that flow to less than 90,000 acre-feet annually. The resulting lowered water levels and increased salinity have been disastrous to native populations of fish and migrating waterfowl. Will Walker Lake eventually be an alkali sink, a dry depression in the desert with swirling clouds of choking dust? Stay tuned.

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