What should Arizona farmers grow? A tire company hopes it’s guayule.

For decades, leaders [in the Southwest] have sought a way to equitably share what’s left of the shrinking supply, but there has always been one stubborn sticking point: Farmers consume three-quarters of the region’s precious water, often to grow thirsty, inedible crops like cotton and hay. Many of them have been here for a century or more, and they aren’t about to leave. So, why can’t they grow something that sucks less water?(No paywall)

Dying ‘biocrusts’ could be good for climate change — or not

The disappearance of "biocrusts" in the world’s deserts may help slow climate change — though not without consequences, says a 10-year study in the journal Scientific Reports. Biocrusts are the “tangled masses of mosses, lichens and cyanobacteria” that emerge from the desert floor in places like the Sonoran desert in the American southwest and the Colorado plateau.

Tucson is the first UNESCO ‘City of Gastronomy’ in North America

Earlier this year, Tucson, Arizona, became the first and only place in the U.S. to be named a City of Gastronomy by the United Nations’ Education, Scientific, and Cultural Organization, better known as UNESCO, says the New York Times. The desert city of 500,000 joined 17 others, including Parma, Italy; Bergen, Norway and Ensenada, Mexico to carry the designation.