Orfalea Center Thematic Research Cluster

Future Infrastructures: Water, Energy and Justice

Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium

The fence surrounding the Trinity site; a sign on the fence warns of radioactivity in the area. Photo taken by the Future Infrastructures' graduate fellow Stephen Borunda.

The Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium (TBDC) are individuals from central and southern New Mexico. They mostly reside or resided in Lincoln, Socorro, Otero, and Sierra counties, but can also include others outside of these parameters as well. They are known as “Downwinders” because of their location in relation to the Trinity nuclear test, which was conducted in the arid Jornada del Muerto desert. The Downwinders have experienced undue hardships in the years since Trinity because of the test’s radioactive fallout. The negative impacts include increased rates of cancer, other diseases that have caused financial and social stress, and death. While other regions in the US impacted by nuclear “testing” have received recognition and financial assistance, this has not been the case with those communities impacted by Trinity. 

The Future Infrastructures Cluster has partnered with the Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium (TBDC) to support several of their current projects including:

I. The accumulation of documents legitimating the usage of water cisterns as important water infrastructures in the region in order to contest the National Cancer Institute’s claims that well water would have minimized damage from radiation from the Trinity nuclear attack on the region. 

II. The publication of an article by TBDC founder Tina Cordova written for global-e

III. The creation of an oral history video archive. 

Page Editor

Stephen Borunda
Stephen Borunda
Graduate student researcher at the Orfalea Center for Global and International Studies. PhD student in Film and Media Studies at UC Santa Barbara.
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on email
Print Friendly and PDF

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *