Both NYC and BRC have a “hidden” relationship with water. The Black Rock Desert, the site of Burning Man, was once a prehistoric lakebed bottom. Now, the nearest bodies of water include the local springs and Pyramid Lake, the latter of which is now the default background image for the iPad.
Most people recognize that Manhattan is an island surrounded by water. However, fewer notice that the city is built on top of many springs, requiring constant pumping to keep the subways and tunnels dry. During a walk in a park, one might notice trickles of water that serve as impromptu birdbaths. Heavy snowstorms or torrential rains, such as the recent storms, push sewage systems to their limits, requiring heavy duty design, engineering, and construction work. Check out upcoming talks about design ideas for NYC infrastructure here.*
*Thanks for the tip from Nana Kirk.