The cover of Superman 71 (July/Aug. 51) is only connected to the lead story by the word balloon, and I have no doubt this was intended as a generic cover.
Finger, Boring and Kaye put together an absurd sequence of events that get Clark out of his Superman costume, and exposed to kryptonite, while placing near a man who believes he has hypnotic powers capable of erasing a person’s mind, and also making them believe they have powers.
What this all means is that Superman does not realize that he really is Superman, or that he has his powers. He slowly learns this all over the course of the story.
Luthor goes after the water supply in this story by Hamilton, Boring and Kaye.
Luthor constructs evaporation and precipitation machines, and uses them to dry up the rivers and oceans, leaving the land to turn to desert. It’s part of a plan to blackmail the world into submission.
Superman spends his time dealing with the effects of the drought, building a rail line across the bed of the Atlantic to deliver food supplies, and dropping off icebergs to melt and provide fresh water in different regions.
It’s Luthor’s men who actually destroy the machines, worried that Luthor will let them die if his demands are not met.