Laguna District [Span., = lake], irrigated area in E Durango and W Coahuila states, N central Mexico. Originally a 900,000-acre (364,200-hectare) tract, consisting of large estates, the land was reapportioned (1936) under President Lázaro Cárdenas and distributed to Mexican farmers on the ejido system. It was a successful experiment in agrarian reform until 1952, when a severe drought scorched more than half the district, turning 200,000 acres (80,940 hectares) of wheat and cotton fields into a dust bowl and obliging the government to take emergency measures to avert a famine. Settlement has continued there, but on a greatly reduced scale; water for irrigation comes from wells and from dams on the Nazas and Aguanaval rivers.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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