"The definitive work on the West's water crisis." --Newsweek The story of the American West is the story of a relentless quest for a precious resource: water. It is a tale of rivers diverted and dammed, of political corruption and intrigue, of billion-dollar battles over water rights, of ecological and economic disaster. In his landmark book, Cadillac Desert, Marc Reisner writes of the earliest settlers, lured by the promise of paradise, and of the ruthless tactics employed by Los Angeles politicians and business interests to ensure the city's growth. He documents the bitter rivalry between two government giants, the Bureau of Reclamation and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, in the competition to transform the West. Based on more than a decade of research, Cadillac Desert is a stunning expose and a dramatic, intriguing history of the creation of an Eden--an Eden that may only be a mirage. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Author: David Carle
Publisher: Univ of California Press
Release Date: 2015-12-15
This thoroughly engaging, concise book tells the story of California's most precious resource, tracing the journey of water in the state from the atmosphere to the snowpack to our faucets and foods. Along the way, we learn much about California itself as the book describes its rivers, lakes, wetlands, dams, and aqueducts and discusses the role of water in agriculture, the environment, and politics. Essential reading in a state facing the future with an overextended water supply, this fascinating book shows that, for all Californians, every drop counts. New to this updated edition: * Additional maps, figures, and photos * Expanded coverage of potential impacts to precipitation, snowpack, and water supply from climate change * Updated information about the struggle for water management and potential solutions * New content about sustainable groundwater use and regulation, desalination, water recycling, stormwater capture, and current proposals for water storage and diversion *Additional table summarizing water sources for 360 California cities and towns
Author: James Lawrence Powell
Publisher: Univ of California Press
Release Date: 2008
Writing for a wide audience, Powell shows us exactly why an urgent threat during the first half of the twenty-first century will come not from the rising of the seas but from the falling of the reservoirs."--BOOK JACKET.
Author: John Fleck
Publisher: Island Press
Release Date: 2016-09-01
When we think of water in the West, we think of conflict and crisis. In recent years, newspaper headlines have screamed,"Scarce water and the death of California farms,” "The Dust Bowl returns,” "A ‘megadrought' will grip U.S. in thecoming decades.” Yet similar stories have been appearing for decades and the taps continue to flow. John Fleck arguesthat the talk of impending doom is not only untrue, but dangerous. When people get scared, they fight for the last drop ofwater; but when they actually have less, they use less. Having covered environmental issues in the West for a quarter century, Fleck would be the last writer to discount theserious problems posed by a dwindling Colorado River. But in that time, Fleck has also seen people in the Colorado RiverBasin come together, conserve, and share the water that is available. Western communities, whether farmers and city-dwellers or US environmentalists and Mexican water managers, have a promising record of cooperation, a recordoften obscured by the crisis narrative. In this fresh take on western water, Fleck brings to light the true history of collaboration and examines the bondscurrently being forged to solve the Basin's most dire threats. Rather than perpetuate the myth "Whiskey's for drinkin', water's for fightin' over," Fleck urges readers to embrace a new, more optimistic narrative—a future where the Colorado continues to flow.
Author: Robert Jerome Glennon
Publisher: Island Press
Release Date: 2004-01-14
"...a book as rich in detail as it is devastating in its argument." -SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN "Water Follies deserves a place alongside the late Marc Reisner's classic Cadillac Desert." -ENVIRONMENT "a lively account of hydrology" -NEW YORK REVIEW OF BOOKS "if you want to scare yourself silly, read Water Follies, by Robert Jerome Glennon. In it you'll learn how America is irrigating itself to death-just like the Sumerians-while sucking its groundwater aquifers dry." -TORONTO GLOBE & MAIL "Even if you are not working with water issues, you should read this book for a wider awareness of the depth and importance of groundwater impacts, right down to the bottle of water you are probably drinking right now." -CONSERVATION IN PRACTICE "To law professor Robert Glennon, the names Perrier and Poland pack a fearful punch, for they and the other huge producers of bottled water are feeding a craze that puts the environment on the brink of disaster." -PUBLISHERS WEEKLY The Santa Cruz River that once flowed through Tucson, Arizona is today a sad mirage of a river. Except for brief periods following heavy rainfall, it is bone dry. The cottonwood and willow trees that once lined its banks have died, and the profusion of birds and wildlife recorded by early settlers are nowhere to be seen. The river is dead. What happened? Where did the water go. As Robert Glennon explains in Water Follies, what killed the Santa Cruz River -- and could devastate other surface waters across the United States -- was groundwater pumping. From 1940 to 2000, the volume of water drawn annually from underground aquifers in Tucson jumped more than six-fold, from 50,000 to 330,000 acre-feet per year. And Tucson is hardly an exception -- similar increases in groundwater pumping have occurred across the country and around the world. In a striking collection of stories that bring to life the human and natural consequences of our growing national thirst, Robert Glennon provides an occasionally wry and always fascinating account of groundwater pumping and the environmental problems it causes. Robert Glennon sketches the culture of water use in the United States, explaining how and why we are growing increasingly reliant on groundwater. He uses the examples of the Santa Cruz and San Pedro rivers in Arizona to illustrate the science of hydrology and the legal aspects of water use and conflicts. Following that, he offers a dozen stories -- ranging from Down East Maine to San Antonio's River Walk to Atlanta's burgeoning suburbs -- that clearly illustrate the array of problems caused by groundwater pumping. Each episode poses a conflict of values that reveals the complexity of how and why we use water. These poignant and sometimes perverse tales tell of human foibles including greed, stubbornness, and, especially, the unlimited human capacity to ignore reality. As Robert Glennon explores the folly of our actions and the laws governing them, he suggests common-sense legal and policy reforms that could help avert potentially catastrophic future effects. Water Follies, the first book to focus on the impact of groundwater pumping on the environment, brings this widespread but underappreciated problem to the attention of citizens and communities across America.
Author: P. Andrew Jones
Publisher: University Press of Colorado
Release Date: 2009-04-30
Why do people fight about water rights? Who decides how much water can be used by a city or irrigator? Does the federal government get involved in state water issues? Why is water in Colorado so controversial? These questions, and others like them, are addressed in Colorado Water Law for Non-Lawyers. This concise and understandable treatment of the complex web of Colorado water laws is the first book of its kind. Legal issues related to water rights in Colorado first surfaced during the gold mining era in the 1800s and continue to be contentious today with the explosive population growth of the twenty-first century. Drawing on geography and history, the authors explore the flashpoints and water wars that have shaped Colorado’s present system of water allocation and management. They also address how this system, developed in the mid-1800s, is standing up to current tests—including the drought of the past decade and the competing interests for scarce water resources—and predict how it will stand up to new demands in the future. This book will appeal to at students, non-lawyers involved with water issues, and general readers interested in Colorado’s complex water rights law.
Author: Marc Reisner
Publisher: Penguin Group USA
Release Date: 2004
Traces the history of California from a largely desert area to a region that has become the most populated state in the country in spite of water supply problems and the certainty of devastating earthquakes. Reprint.
Author: Stephen Grace
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
Release Date: 2013-05-07
Genre: Social Science
In the scramble to claim water rights in the West during the fevered days of early emigration and expansion, running out of water was rarely a concern, and the dam building fever that transformed the West in the 19th and 20th centuries created a map of the region that may be unsustainable. Throughout the arid American West, metropolitan areas such as Los Angeles, Phoenix, Las Vegas and Denver need water. These cities are growing, but water supplies are dwindling. Scientists agree that the West is heating up and drying out, leading to future water shortages that will pose a challenge to existing laws. Dam Nation looks first to the past, to the stories of the California gold rush and the earliest attempts by men to shape the landscape and tame it, takes us to the “Great American Desert” and the settlement of the west under the theory that "rain follows the plow," and then takes on the ongoing legal and moral battles in the West. Author Stephen Grace, is a novelist, a storyteller, and the author of several non-fiction books on Colorado. He weaves the facts into a compelling narrative that informs, entertains, and tells an important story.
A downstream adventure into the heart of one of America’s most important water systems examining where our water comes from and where it all goes The Colorado River is a crucial resource for a surprisingly large part of the United States, and every gallon that flows down it is owned or claimed by someone. David Owen traces all that water from the Colorado's headwaters to its parched terminus, once a verdant wetland but now a million-acre desert. He takes readers on an adventure downriver, along a labyrinth of waterways, reservoirs, power plants, farms, fracking sites, ghost towns, and RV parks, to the spot near the U.S.–Mexico border where the river runs dry. Water problems in the western United States can seem tantalizingly easy to solve: just turn off the fountains at the Bellagio, stop selling hay to China, ban golf, cut down the almond trees, and kill all the lawyers. But a closer look reveals a vast man-made ecosystem that is far more complex and more interesting than the headlines let on. The story Owen tells in Where the Water Goes is crucial to our future: how a patchwork of engineering marvels, byzantine legal agreements, aging infrastructure, and neighborly cooperation enables life to flourish in the desert, and the disastrous consequences we face when any part of this tenuous system fails.
Author: F. Herbert Bormann
Publisher: Yale University Press
Release Date: 2001
Americans love their lawns with a passion rarely seen in other countries; fifty-eight million Americans enthusiastically plant, weed, water, spray, and mow an estimated twenty million acres of lawn. But is our dedication to these lawns contributing to the serious environmental problems facing the planet? The authors in this book state that the lawn may be an ecological anachronism, and they argue that we must rethink the way we care for our lawns so that these small pieces of the environment will demonstrate our commitment to a more ecologically sound world. The authors outline the origins of ideas about the lawn and the reasons for its enduring popularity. They describe the development of ideas about its form and the making of the lawn into an object of beauty. They explain how the lawn industry has encouraged the spread of the "industrial" lawn to sustain high sales of mowers, seeds, fertilizers, pesticides, and irrigation equipment. However, say the authors, Industrial Lawns can have high environmental costs: for example, power motors contribute to regional air pollution and global warming; excess fertilizers and pesticides wash off our lawns and run into our wells, streams, and lakes; grass clippings that are bagged and hauled away are major contributors to solid waste problems; and the watering of lawns depletes scarce water supplies. How can we create environmentally sound lawns? The authors offer a variety of ideas - such as moderation in our use of lawn supplements, ecological use of grass varieties, the substitution of hand mowers for power motors, and the use of grass clippings to fertilize the lawn. These strategies can help us to care for conventional lawns in ways lessdangerous to the environment. They also propose two more radical alternatives: Freedom Lawns that allow natural and unrestricted growth of grasses, clover, wildflowers, and other broad-leafed herbaceous plants; and total replacement of the lawn with new landscape designs. By choosing these alternatives - which can be aesthetically pleasing as well as ecologically correct - we can unite our environmental concerns with direct personal action, acting locally while thinking globally and creating a new garden aesthetic in the process.
Author: Austin Troy
Publisher: Yale University Press
Release Date: 2012
Genre: Cities and towns
"This book explores how cities around the world consume energy, assesses innovative ideas for reducing urban energy consumption, and discusses why energy efficiency will determine which cities thrive economically in the future"--Provided by publisher.
Author: William L. Kahrl
Publisher: Univ of California Press
Release Date: 1983-11-08
It is not the purpose of this work to propose a specific format for the settlement of the city's current difficulties with the valley, to resolve the environmental questions associated with Los Angeles's proposed groundwater pumping program, or to promote any cause associated with the developing situation in the Owens Valley. But by performing the essential historical task of separating what happened from what did not, and by distinguishing in this way the choices which have been made from those which have yet to be decided, it is my hope that this effort will help to establish that common basis for understanding which is essential for the debate over specific issues to proceed most effectively. This book, then, is scarcely the last word on the Owens Valley conflict: the final chapter, after all, has yet to be written. The story that has emerged here is at once very different and more troubling than the conventional treatments of the conflict as a simplistic political morality play. Any attempt to deal with so controversial a subject, however, is almost certain to spark controversy itself. For that reason, with the exception of a small collection of private letters, this work is constructed entirely from the published documents and other materials available to the general public, anchoring the narrative in sources the reader can consult to trace the line of my argument on any point with which he or she may disagree. In addition, the work as a whole has been reviewed for technical accuracy by officials of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, although the department is in no way responsible for the content of this study or the conclusions drawn from it.
Author: Allison Lassiter
Publisher: Univ of California Press
Release Date: 2015-07-24
Genre: Business & Economics
"Water scarcity, urban population growth, and deteriorating infrastructure impact water security around the globe. As California wrestles with the most significant drought in its recorded history, struggling to secure reliable water supplies for the future, it faces all of these crises. The story of California water, its history and its future, includes cautions and solutions for any region seeking to manage water among the pressures of a dynamic society and environment. Written by leading policy makers, lawyers, economists, hydrologists, ecologists, engineers and planners, Sustainable Water reaches across disciplines, uncovering connections and intersections. The solutions and provocations put forward in this book integrate water management strategies to increase resilience in a changing world"--Provided by publisher.