From Climate Central (Bobby Magill):
…drought and climate change have been especially hard on the Navajo Nation, the largest Native American tribe in the U.S. with more than 170,000 people living on the reservation in New Mexico, Arizona and Utah. The Four Corners region, where those states and Colorado meet at the edge of Navajoland, is truly the front line of climate change.
The region, like the rest of the Southwest, is expected to see more intense heat waves as the climate warms. Streams are drying up because of the drought, new sand dunes are forming on the reservation and old ones are getting larger. And that means residents here — especially those without the water and electricity taken for granted elsewhere — are more exposed to intense heat and are likely to be the first to suffer in a changing climate.
In Navajoland, water is sparse and distances are vast. The Navajo Reservation stretches roughly 300 miles from Tohajiilee, N.M., west of Albuquerque, to the west side in Tuba City, Ariz., north of Flagstaff. The Navajo Nation spans three states, covers more than 27,400 square miles and is larger than the land area of Belgium and the Netherlands combined. As with any region so large, the weather varies almost as much as the landscape does.
The lengthwise trip crosses through the redrock sandstone canyon country so iconic of the Southwest, and passes into ponderosa pine-covered high plateaus, desert scrubland clad with low piñon and juniper trees and the blustery grassy plains of the western part of the reservation not far from the famous Petrified Forest National Park.
More Colorado River Basin coverage here.