Nye 9

The western great plains are very dry--at first thought to be unsuitable for agriculture
  1. too dry to farm
  2. mid-19th century--rain follow the plow
  3. after 1890 (earlier in some places)--we can turn desert in farmland by irrigation
"rain follows the plow"--farming will change the climate, making it less dry   
part of this was misleading speculation by land speculators
but there was also wishful thinking science

photo credit David@UNT / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA
center pivot irrigation as seen from the air

center pivot irrigation seen from the aireven farther west, irrigation was clearly needed


Rise of big water companies and large farms replacing the small family farms
The money was in land speculation, at the expense of the small farmer

issues about irrigation:

Boulder/Hoover Dam film: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PSMDPzd11ek