The Dust Bowlx


Nov 8, 2013 (3 years and 5 months ago)


Man’s Mistake or Mother Nature?


CE 208X


Help received : none

1920s: Farms expand on the Great Plains

1920:World War I, United States pushes
for higher food production, wheat prices

1920’s: End of war lowers prices, farmers
increase their crop size to regain income with
shift in prices

Initial studies on soil erosion in the Great
Plains by Hugh Bennett

1937: Severe drought hits the Midwest

1933: Franklin D. Roosevelt inaugurated as 32

President of United States of America

Farmers are ignoring conservation methods for
easier methods of farming

Lack of Government guidelines allows for
farmers to conduct themselves as they wish

Poor farming techniques and
terrible drought plagued the
Great Plains setting up
conditions for the Perfect

April 14
, 1935 became
known as Black Sunday

Immense dust storms
blacked out the sky and
covered towns

High winds stripped the
ground of its topsoil and left
the ground unfarmable

Millions of acres of
land had been
destroyed for crop

Farmers had no
option but to pack up
and move.

Great Depression was

President Roosevelt
signs Soil Conservation
Act of 1935 and
establishes Soil
Conservation Service

Hugh Bennett becomes
first agency chief

Put plans of soil, water,
and natural resource

“National Conservation
action must spring from
the people on the land,
and to an extent, be
advanced by them as
individuals, with the
help of the


Initial stated causes of the dust storms are based
around the farmers poor farming techniques and
lack of environmental management

Several theories develop about causes of the dust
storms and what was the cause

Many state it was a result of ignorance but others
began to push for nature and social and economic

One study by Worster and Hunt wanted to find
the answer to the cause but utilized geographic
maps to gather information

Agricultural censuses,
soil surveys, and
weather stations
allowed for a
geographic map

The study suggests that the Dust Bowl was an
ecological event as a result of the severe
drought and not from poor use of the land

Patterns showed that the land experienced dust
storms prior to heavy plowing

The pictures conjure up horrific feelings of
despair and hopelessness

They really put man in his place in what
Mother Nature is in control of

Its honestly not something I have thought a
tremendous amount of so to learn more about
the Dust Bowl is quite interesting to see how
critical water is to societies

The human body is composed of 55
75% water

Truly is the center of life

Trade, food production, manufacturing,
energy, etc. all require access to water in some

The Dust Bowl was an example how quickly
one population can be crippled due to a lack of

All societies are founded near some type of
water source

Whether trade or agriculture, water becomes
the primary source of income

When the water source becomes threatened or
is reduced enough to not sustain the
civilization, civilization moves or falls

Native American tribe
based in the southwest

Established their homes
in shallow cliffs and

Relied on farming of
nearby mesas and

Severe drought forced
this group to abandon
their cities

Located in Southern
Iraq, established along
Tigris and Euphrates

Relied on trade and
fertile lands for

Changes in river
levels lead to drought
and civilization
breaking apart

Current water storage and treatment plants are
nearing the end of their lifetime

Governments have not allowed budgets to
grow to keep up with maintenance

By 2019, United States will face water crises
that could cripple all facets of life

Unless changes are made, the basic needs of the
world will halt the world in its tracks.

The current water systems must be taken care
of and replaced to ensure a seamless supply of

All parts of life, big or small rely on a
continuous supply of water

Spicewood, TX

Due to drought, the city’s well has become
dangerously close to running dry and can no
longer provide for the needed water

Trucks must now bring water in to supply the

The local government has not made the necessary
emergency decisions to make a lasting correction
to the issue

Hopefully this one town’s mistake does not
foreshadow the world’s issues with the water