Sietch Nevada is a futuristic concept city that envisions a dystopian water-hoarding society where drought is a constant state and wars are fought over water. Designed by Matsys Designs, the underground city is situated within a network of tunnels and caverns that offer protection and water storage, creating an oasis in the desert. The dense underground community includes a network of waterways and canals enclosed by residential and commercial cavern structures that form an underground Venice so to speak.
If you think Sietch Nevada sounds like a city taken straight out of the novel Dune then you’re right – a Sietch is actually a cave system that served as a village for the Fremen tribal community. Matsys Designs’ city to be located in Nevada, is a man-made underground cave system, connected together by canals that act as both as transportation passageways and irrigation canals. Deep below the city are underground aquifers which provide storage for the precious resource that the city depends on. The caverns themselves are cellular in form and connected in a honeycomb structure that is full of dense urban life.
While the life force of the city is stored underground in the aquifers, the city is powered from above. On the surface water is harvested, energy is generated, and food is grown via urban agriculture and aquaculture. From above these cellular pods seem like desert blooms filled with various elements – ponds, skylights, agriculture domes, and energy harvesters.
Sietch Nevada is a harbinger of desperate times when societies are forced to resort to voraciously storing and hoarding water – a future which may not be far off. Water shortages and droughts are already starting to become commonplace, especially in the Southwest, which relies on the waters of the Colorado River to sustain millions of people. With more and more people headed to the area every year, the Colorado and the aquifers of the region are not able to keep up. Pretty soon, we may have to resort to something like this Sietch. Perhaps it’s time to freshen up on Dune & Cadillac Desert and start preparing.