"After soldiers of the Roman Empire defeated their enemies in Carthage, they sowed the city’s fields with salt. When crops couldn’t grow, the devastated Carthaginians would be cripple for generations. Today we are doing this to ourselves. In the San Joaquin Valley, a million acres of cropland have been abandoned due to salted soils since the mid eighties. Similar patterns exist in most arid agricultural regions of the West, and world-wide. As farmland is abandoned it is covered by subdivisions at an average rate of six thousands acres per year. These sprawling mazes of air-conditioned, shoddily constructed subdivisions are even more energy-and water-intensive than the farmland they replace."
~ Excerpt from Dam Nation: Dispatches from the Water Underground