Aridification caused by climate change, and decades of water pumping by Peabody coal are shrinking the springs that have provided both physical and spiritual sustenance for the Hopi for thousands of years in what is now northeastern Arizona, the Arizona Republic reports. After a two-timing attorney deceived the Hopi into signing away coal and water for far below market value, Peabody Western Coal Co. drained nearly 50 billion gallons of water from the N Aquifer below Hopi lands over the next half century — almost double the amount pumped from the aquifer for all other purposes combined. The aquifer’s depletion by the coal industry is made worse as climate change-fueled megadroughts unlike anything seen in the past 1,200 years have prevented the parched aquifers from recharging via rainfall and snowmelt. “Our whole religion is water-based,” Howard Dennis, a Hopi water advocate, told the Republic. “And without this water being here, if it was ever to disappear — which I hope it doesn’t — where will we go? … How will we be a people?” (Arizona Republic)