The desiccation of the Aral Sea is one of the greatest environmental catastrophes of the late twentieth century. But efforts to harness and divert the Aral’s freshwater are rooted in efforts to use technology to terraform landscape in the modern era. Using water to irrigate a wasteland was a hallmark of modernity, progress, productivity, and prosperity. Water was also emblematic of the colonial infrastructure of Russia and the Soviet Union. This live interview with Maya Peterson (University of California, Santa Cruz) and Christopher Ward (Clayton State University) will discuss the role of water in its wider environmental history of the Soviet project.