The West without Water

Author: B. Lynn Ingram
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 9780520954809
Release Date: 2013-08-01
Genre: Nature

The West without Water documents the tumultuous climate of the American West over twenty millennia, with tales of past droughts and deluges and predictions about the impacts of future climate change on water resources. Looking at the region’s current water crisis from the perspective of its climate history, the authors ask the central question of what is "normal" climate for the West, and whether the relatively benign climate of the past century will continue into the future. The West without Water merges climate and paleoclimate research from a wide variety of sources as it introduces readers to key discoveries in cracking the secrets of the region’s climatic past. It demonstrates that extended droughts and catastrophic floods have plagued the West with regularity over the past two millennia and recounts the most disastrous flood in the history of California and the West, which occurred in 1861–62. The authors show that, while the West may have temporarily buffered itself from such harsh climatic swings by creating artificial environments and human landscapes, our modern civilization may be ill-prepared for the future climate changes that are predicted to beset the region. They warn that it is time to face the realities of the past and prepare for a future in which fresh water may be less reliable.

The West Without Water

Author: B. Lynn Ingram
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 9780520268555
Release Date: 2013-08-01
Genre: Nature

"Documents the tumultuous climate of the American West over twenty thousand years, with tales of past droughts and deluges and predictions about the impacts of future climate change on water resources."--Back cover.

Evolutionary History

Author: Edmund Russell
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9781139496476
Release Date: 2011-04-11
Genre: History

We tend to see history and evolution springing from separate roots, one grounded in the human world and the other in the natural world. Human beings have, however, become probably the most powerful species shaping evolution today, and human-caused evolution in other species has probably been the most important force shaping human history. This book introduces readers to evolutionary history, a new field that unites history and biology to create a fuller understanding of the past than either can produce on its own. Evolutionary history can stimulate surprising new hypotheses for any field of history and evolutionary biology. How many art historians would have guessed that sculpture encouraged the evolution of tuskless elephants? How many biologists would have predicted that human poverty would accelerate animal evolution? How many military historians would have suspected that plant evolution would convert a counter-insurgency strategy into a rebel subsidy? With examples from around the globe, this book will help readers see the broadest patterns of history and the details of their own life in a new light.

Dam Nation

Author: Stephen Grace
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
ISBN: 9780762785872
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.

Water Follies

Author: Robert Jerome Glennon
Publisher: Island Press
ISBN: 1597267872
Release Date: 2012-09-26
Genre: Nature

"...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.

Cascadia s Fault

Author: Jerry Thompson
Publisher: Counterpoint Press
ISBN: 9781619020863
Release Date: 2012-03-10
Genre: Nature

There is a crack in the earth’s crust that runs roughly 31 miles offshore, approximately 683 miles from Northern California up through Vancouver Island off the coast of British Columbia. The Cascadia Subduction Zone has generated massive earthquakes over and over again throughout geologic time—at least thirty-six major events in the last 10,000 years. This fault generates a monster earthquake about every 500 years. And the monster is due to return at any time. It could happen 200 years from now, or it could be tonight. The Cascadia Subduction Zone is virtually identical to the offshore fault that wrecked Sumatra in 2004. It will generate the same earthquake we saw in Sumatra, at magnitude nine or higher, sending crippling shockwaves across a far wider area than any California quake. Slamming into Sacramento, Portland, Seattle, Victoria, and Vancouver, it will send tidal waves to the shores of Australia, New Zealand, and Japan, damaging the economies of the Pacific Rim countries and their trading partners for years to come. In light of recent massive quakes in Haiti, Chile, and Mexico, Cascadia’s Fault not only tells the story of this potentially devastating earthquake and the tsunamis it will spawn, it also warns us about an impending crisis almost unprecedented in modern history.

Blowout in the Gulf

Author: William R. Freudenburg
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 9780262015837
Release Date: 2011
Genre: Business & Economics

Explains both the disaster and the decisions that led up to it and argues that for the future the emphasis needs to be on prevention and that risk-management policies be based on better understandings of humans and hardware.

River of Renewal

Author: Stephen Most
Publisher:
ISBN: 0295986220
Release Date: 2006-01-01
Genre: History

The succession of wars and resource conflicts that shaped the Klamath Basin are examined in a history of the region along the Oregon and California borders, looking at such issues as ecological restoration, the overallocation of the area's water resources, and more. Original.

Chasing Water

Author: Brian Richter
Publisher: Island Press
ISBN: 9781610915373
Release Date: 2014-06-03
Genre: Science

Water scarcity is spreading and intensifying in many regions of the world, with dire consequences for local communities, economies, and freshwater ecosystems. Current approaches tend to rely on policies crafted at the state or national level, which on their own have proved insufficient to arrest water scarcity. To be durable and effective, water plans must be informed by the culture, economics, and varied needs of affected community members. International water expert Brian Richter argues that sustainable water sharing in the twenty-first century can only happen through open, democratic dialogue and local collective action. In Chasing Water, Richter tells a cohesive and complete story of water scarcity: where it is happening, what is causing it, and how it can be addressed. Through his engaging and nontechnical style, he strips away the complexities of water management to its bare essentials, providing information and practical examples that will empower community leaders, activists, and students to develop successful and long-lasting water programs. Chasing Water will provide local stakeholders with the tools and knowledge they need to take an active role in the watershed-based planning and implementation that are essential for water supplies to remain sustainable in perpetuity.

The Unending Frontier

Author: John F. Richards
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 9780520246782
Release Date: 2005
Genre: History

Describes the effect of human action on the world's environment.

Down to the Wire

Author: David W. Orr
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199736836
Release Date: 2009-09-17
Genre: Science

"The real fault line in American politics is not between liberals and conservatives.... It is, rather, in how we orient ourselves to the generations to come who will bear the consequences, for better and for worse, of our actions." So writes David Orr in Down to the Wire, a sober and eloquent assessment of climate destabilization and an urgent call to action. Orr describes how political negligence, an economy based on the insatiable consumption of trivial goods, and a disdain for the well-being of future generations have brought us to the tipping point that biologist Edward O. Wilson calls "the bottleneck." Due to our refusal to live within natural limits, we now face a long emergency of rising temperatures, rising sea-levels, and a host of other related problems that will increasingly undermine human civilization. Climate destabilization to which we are already committed will change everything, and to those betting on quick technological fixes or minor adjustments to the way we live now, Down to the Wire is a major wake-up call. But this is not a doomsday book. Orr offers a wide range of pragmatic, far-reaching proposals--some of which have already been adopted by the Obama administration--for how we might reconnect public policy with rigorous science, bring our economy into alignment with ecological realities, and begin to regard ourselves as planetary trustees for future generations. He offers inspiring real-life examples of people already responding to the major threat to our future. An exacting analysis of where we are in terms of climate change, how we got here, and what we must now do, Down to the Wire is essential reading for those wanting to join in the Great Work of our generation.

Medicinal Plants of the Desert and Canyon West

Author: Michael Moore
Publisher: Museum of New Mexico Press
ISBN: 9780890135914
Release Date: 1989-06-01
Genre: Nature

This classic work on medicinal herbs of the Western uplands is an authoritative presentation of more than 100 species. Unsurpassed as a field guide for its authoritative information on collection and medicinal preparation. Focuses on the plant life of rocky and arid lands of the West, and includes detailed information on the preparation and use of these vital herbs.

Freshwater Ecology

Author: Walter K. Dodds
Publisher: Academic Press
ISBN: 0080884776
Release Date: 2010-11-03
Genre: Science

Freshwater Ecology, Second Edition, is a broad, up-to-date treatment of everything from the basic chemical and physical properties of water to advanced unifying concepts of the community ecology and ecosystem relationships as found in continental waters. With 40% new and expanded coverage, this text covers applied and basic aspects of limnology, now with more emphasis on wetlands and reservoirs than in the previous edition. It features 80 new and updated figures, including a section of color plates, and 500 new and updated references. The authors take a synthetic approach to ecological problems, teaching students how to handle the challenges faced by contemporary aquatic scientists. This text is designed for undergraduate students taking courses in Freshwater Ecology and Limnology; and introductory graduate students taking courses in Freshwater Ecology and Limnology. Expanded revision of Dodds' successful text. New boxed sections provide more advanced material within the introductory, modular format of the first edition. Basic scientific concepts and environmental applications featured throughout. Added coverage of climate change, ecosystem function, hypertrophic habitats and secondary production. Expanded coverage of physical limnology, groundwater and wetland habitats. Expanded coverage of the toxic effects of pharmaceuticals and endocrine disrupters as freshwater pollutants More on aquatic invertebrates, with more images and pictures of a broader range of organisms Expanded coverage of the functional roles of filterer feeding, scraping, and shredding organisms, and a new section on omnivores. Expanded appendix on standard statistical techniques. Supporting website with figures and tables - http://www.elsevierdirect.com/companion.jsp?ISBN=9780123747242

A Great Aridness

Author: William Debuys
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199974672
Release Date: 2013-05-01
Genre: Science

With its soaring azure sky and stark landscapes, the American Southwest is one of the most hauntingly beautiful regions on earth. Yet staggering population growth, combined with the intensifying effects of climate change, is driving the oasis-based society close to the brink of a Dust-Bowl-scale catastrophe. In A Great Aridness, William deBuys paints a compelling picture of what the Southwest might look like when the heat turns up and the water runs out. This semi-arid land, vulnerable to water shortages, rising temperatures, wildfires, and a host of other environmental challenges, is poised to bear the heaviest consequences of global environmental change in the United States. Examining interrelated factors such as vanishing wildlife, forest die backs, and the over-allocation of the already stressed Colorado River--upon which nearly 30 million people depend--the author narrates the landscape's history--and future. He tells the inspiring stories of the climatologists and others who are helping untangle the complex, interlocking causes and effects of global warming. And while the fate of this region may seem at first blush to be of merely local interest, what happens in the Southwest, deBuys suggests, will provide a glimpse of what other mid-latitude arid lands worldwide--the Mediterranean Basin, southern Africa, and the Middle East--will experience in the coming years. Written with an elegance that recalls the prose of John McPhee and Wallace Stegner, A Great Aridness offers an unflinching look at the dramatic effects of climate change occurring right now in our own backyard.