“What Grows Here, Scottsdale” is a virtual, layered augmented reality map showing over 1,000 years of water use in the Scottsdale, AZ area. Layered in three dimensions, the viewer can view the six, large maps stacked vertically over the ground adjacent to the Arizona Canal, with the ability to walk up to and within the maps to see their detail. Each visible component to the maps represents points where water has been or is being used. Each layer’s water components “fall” into the next layer below it. The bottom layer of the map (present day) flows onto the ground.
Dating back to 900AD when ancient irrigation occupied areas near South Scottsdale, the city has gone through many changes including rapid expansion and the addition of many recreational lakes and swimming pools. We now face historically low water levels and restrictions to water use. How have we changed our approach to using water over the years and does it contribute to long-term survival in the wettest desert on the planet?