Local News Update

Available Water

San Diego, California, averages 9 inches (23 cm) rain per year. Reno, Nevada, gets only 7 inches (18 cm). Seattle, Washington, the rainfall averages 39 inches (99 cm) per year. So in all these places natural vegetation consists of short grasses, hardy shrubs, sagebrush, and cactus.

Natural Resources and the Economy

under the rocky montains and the seirra nevada lies and immense storehouse of minerals gold, silver, uranium, and other types of metals. prospectors and other people set up business to provide the goods and services to the miners.

The Growth of Western Cities

the completion of the first transcontinental railroad in 1869 spurred the growth of towns and cities along the ribbon of silvery track. because the harsh landscape and climate, relatively few people settled in the regions countryside. to support the growing population, Los Angeles has to obtain huge amounts of water via aqueducts--large pipes that carry water over long distances.

Conquering Western Distances

the two outlying states of the western region, Alaska and Hawaii, face challenges in surmounting distances.


Alaska is the most largest state, but it is one of the least populated. less than 630,000 people live in an area that is more than 3 times larger than all the northeast. Juneau, the state capital, can only be reached by boat or airplane. Anchorage a city that has more than 250,000 residents, has only two roads leading out of town.


Hawaii is made up of eight main islands and more than 100 smaller islands in the central Pacific Ocean. In 1959 Hawaii became the 50th state. Technological improvements have shortened the distance between Hawaii and the rest of the nation. With the development of communications satellites and internet, Hawaiians no longer have to rely on radios for news from the mainland and around the world.