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Cadillac Desert

The American West and Its Disappearing Water
Reisner, Marc (Book - 1993 )
Average Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5.
Cadillac Desert
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"Beautifully written and meticulously researched."- St. Louis Post-Dispatch . This updated study of the economics, politics, and ecology of water covers more than a century of public and private desert reclamation in the American West.
Authors: Reisner, Marc
Title: Cadillac desert
the American West and its disappearing water
Publisher: New York, N.Y., U.S.A. : Penguin Books, 1993
Edition: Rev. and updated
Characteristics: viii, 582 p., [8] p. of plates :,ill., maps ;,22 cm
Statement of Responsibility: Marc Reisner
Notes: Maps on lining papers
Contents: A country of illusion
The Red Queen
First causes
An American Nile (I)
The Go-Go years
Rivals in crime
Dominy
An American Nile (II)
The peanut farmer and the pork barrel
Chinatown
Those who refuse to learn ...
Things fall apart
A civilization, if you can keep it
ISBN: 9780140178241
0140178244
Branch Call Number: 333.91 R377c 1993
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references (p. [522]-564) and index
Subject Headings: Political corruption West (U.S.) History Water resources development Government policy West (U.S.) History Irrigation Government policy West (U.S.) History
Topical Term: Political corruption
Water resources development
Irrigation
LCCN: 93173272
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Library Staff

If you want to understand how and why western Rivers are full of dams this is a great place to start. While it covers much more than the Columbia River, this book is the best explanation about water policy in the west that I have found.


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A very readable essay about the precarious supply of fresh water in California by the man who wrote the script for the movie Chinatown. It is slanted towords the Cal. situation, but applicable to the entire US west of the Mississippi. Since 1950, usage of fresh-water has exceeded recoverable rainfall throughout all western US states.

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