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Aqueduct Hunting in the Seventeenth Century
Raffaele Fabretti's De aquis et aquaeductibus veteris Romae
Harry B. Evans
University of Michigan Press, 2002
Aqueduct hunting has been a favorite pastime for visitors to Rome since antiquity, although serious study of how the Eternal City obtained its water did not begin until the seventeenth century. It was Raffaele Fabretti (1619-1700), the well-known Italian antiquarian and epigrapher, who began the first systematic research of the Roman aqueduct system.
Fabretti's treatise, De aquis et aquaeductibus veteris Romae dissertationes tres, is cited as a matter of course by all later scholars working in the area of Roman topography. Its findings--while updated and supplemented by more recent archaeological efforts--have never been fully superseded. Yet despite its enormous importance and impact on scholarly efforts, the De aquis has never yet been translated from the original Latin. Aqueduct Hunting in the Seventeenth Century provides a full translation of and commentary on Fabretti's writings, making them accessible to a broad audience and carefully assessing their scholarly contributions.
Harry B. Evans offers his reader an introduction to Fabretti and his scholarly world. A complete translation and a commentary that focuses primarily on the topographical problems and Fabretti's contribution to our understanding of them are also provided. Evans also assesses the contributions and corrections of later archaeologists and topographers and places the De aquis in the history of aqueduct studies.
Evans demonstrates that Fabretti's conclusions, while far from definitive, are indeed significant and merit wider attention than they have received to date. This book will appeal to classicists and classical archaeologists, ancient historians, and readers interested in the history of technology, archaeology, and Rome and Italy in the seventeenth century.
Harry B. Evans is Professor of Classics, Fordham University.
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BITS of Belonging
Information Technology, Water, and Neoliberal Governance in India
Simanti Dasgupta
Temple University Press, 2015

India’s global success in the Information Technology industry has also prompted the growth of neoliberalism and the re-emergence of the middle class in contemporary urban areas, such as Bangalore. In her significant study, BITS of Belonging, Simanti Dasgupta shows that this economic shift produces new forms of social inequality while reinforcing older ones. She investigates this economic disparity by looking at IT and water privatization to explain how these otherwise unrelated domains correspond to our thinking about citizenship, governance, and belonging. 

Dasgupta’s ethnographic study shows how work and human processes in the IT industry intertwine to meet the market stipulations of the global economy. Meanwhile, in the recasting of water from a public good to a commodity, the middle class insists on a governance and citizenship model based upon market participation. Dasgupta provides a critical analysis of the grassroots activism involved in a contested water project where different classes lay their divergent claims to the city.

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Border Oasis
Water and the Political Ecology of the Colorado River Delta, 1940–1975
Evan R. Ward
University of Arizona Press, 2003
The environmental history of the Colorado River delta during the past century is one of the most important—and most neglected—stories of the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands. Thanks to entrepreneurs such as William E. Smythe, the surrounding desert in Arizona, California, Sonora, and Baja California has been transformed into an agricultural oasis, but not without significant ecological, political, economic, and social consequences.

Evan Ward explores the rapid development of this region, examining the ways in which regional politics and international relations created a garden in the Mexicali, Yuma, and Imperial Valleys while simultaneously threatening the life of the Colorado River. Tracing the transformation of the delta by irrigated agribusiness through the twentieth century, he draws on untapped archival resources from both sides of the border to offer a new look at one of the world's most contested landscapes.

Border Oasis tells how two very different nations developed the delta into an agricultural oasis at enormous environmental cost. Focusing on the years 1940 to 1975—including the disastrous salinity crisis of the 1960s and 1970s—it combines Mexican, Native American, and U.S. perspectives to demonstrate that the political and diplomatic influences on the delta played as much a part in the region's transformation as did irrigation. Ward reveals how mistrust among political and economic participants has been fueled by conflict between national and local officials on both sides of the border, by Mexican nationalism, and by a mutual recognition that water is the critical ingredient for regional economic development.

With overemphasis on development in both nations leading to an ecological breaking point, Ward demonstrates that conflicting interests have made sound binational management of the delta nearly impossible. By weaving together all of these threads that have produced the fabric of today's lower Colorado, his study shows that the environmental history of the delta must be understood as a whole, not from the standpoint of only one of many competing interests.
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Chasing Water
A Guide for Moving from Scarcity to Sustainability
Brian Richter
Island Press, 2014
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.
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Columbus, Ohio
Two Centuries of Business and Environmental Change
Mansel G. Blackford
The Ohio State University Press, 2016
Columbus, Ohio: Two Centuries of Business and Environmental Change examines how a major midwestern city developed economically, spatially, and socially, and what the environmental consequences have been, from its founding in 1812 to near the present day. The book analyzes Columbus’s evolution from an isolated frontier village to a modern metropolis, one of the few thriving cities in the Midwest. No single factor explains the history of Columbus, but the implementation of certain water-use and land-use policies, and interactions among those policies, reveal much about the success of the city. 
 
Precisely because they lived in a midsize, midwestern city, Columbus residents could learn from the earlier experiences of their counterparts in older, larger coastal metropolises, and then go beyond them. Not having large sunk costs in pre-existing water systems, Columbus residents could, for instance, develop new, world-class, state-of-the-art methods for treating water and sewage, steps essential for urban expansion. Columbus, Ohio explores how city residents approached urban challenges—especially economic and environmental ones—and how they solved them.
 
Columbus, Ohio: Two Centuries of Business and Environmental Change concludes that scholars and policy makers need to pay much more attention to environmental issues in the shaping of cities, and that they need to look more closely at what midwestern metropolises accomplished, as opposed to simply examining coastal cities.
 
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Conflicts Over Land & Water in Africa
Cameroon, Ghana, Burkina Faso, West Africa, Sudan, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Tanzania
Bill Derman
Michigan State University Press, 2007

This is an examination of the broader context for the re-emergence of land reform and resource conflicts in Africa. Efforts to change the race based systems of land ownership and land tenure in Namibia, South Africa, and Zimbabwe have pushed land issues to the forefront of social and economic discourses in Africa. This collection examines the broader context for the re-emergence of land reform and resource conflicts.
     The case studies examine the links between identity maintenance, tenurial changes, state intervention, and forms and modes of conflict. The authors emphasize the need for a deeper understanding of local histories, cultures, and motivations if efforts to attain a more just distribution of resources are to succeed. The book contributes to a field that has been developing rapidly in the decade since the publication of Melissa Leach and Robin Mearns' collection The Lie of the Land and Mahmood Mamdani's Citizen and Subject. Those two books started a wide ranging discussion of the political reasons for failed development in Africa, as well as the environmental and natural resource dimensions of that failure.

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Contested Waters
An Environmental History of the Colorado River
April R. Summitt
University Press of Colorado, 2013
"To fully understand this river and its past, one must examine many separate pieces of history scattered throughout two nations--seven states within the United States and two within Mexico--and sort through a large amount of scientific data. One needs to be part hydrologist, geologist, economist, sociologist, anthropologist, and historian to fully understand the entire story. Despite this river's narrow size and meager flow, its tale is very large indeed."
-From the conclusion

The Colorado River is a vital resource to urban and agricultural communities across the Southwest, providing water to 30 million people. Contested Waters tells the river's story-a story of conquest, control, division, and depletion.

Beginning in prehistory and continuing into the present day, Contested Waters focuses on three important and often overlooked aspects of the river's use: the role of western water law in its over-allocation, the complexity of power relationships surrounding the river, and the concept of sustainable use and how it has been either ignored or applied in recent times. It is organized in two parts, the first addresses the chronological history of the river and long-term issues, while the second examines in more detail four specific topics: metropolitan perceptions, American Indian water rights, US-Mexico relations over the river, and water marketing issues. Creating a complete picture of the evolution of this crucial yet over-utilized resource, this comprehensive summary will fascinate anyone interested in the Colorado River or the environmental history of the Southwest.

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Cultivating the Nile
The Everyday Politics of Water in Egypt
Jessica Barnes
Duke University Press, 2014
The waters of the Nile are fundamental to life in Egypt. In this compelling ethnography, Jessica Barnes explores the everyday politics of water: a politics anchored in the mundane yet vital acts of blocking, releasing, channeling, and diverting water. She examines the quotidian practices of farmers, government engineers, and international donors as they interact with the waters of the Nile flowing into and through Egypt. Situating these local practices in relation to broader processes that affect Nile waters, Barnes moves back and forth from farmer to government ministry, from irrigation canal to international water conference. By showing how the waters of the Nile are constantly made and remade as a resource by people in and outside Egypt, she demonstrates the range of political dynamics, social relations, and technological interventions that must be incorporated into understandings of water and its management.
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Dammed
The Politics of Loss and Survival in Anishinaabe Territory
Brittany Luby
University of Manitoba Press, 2020

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Damming Grand Canyon
The 1923 USGS Colorado River Expedition
Diane E Boyer and Robert H. Webb
Utah State University Press, 2007

In 1923, America paid close attention, via special radio broadcasts, newspaper headlines, and cover stories in popular magazines, as a government party descended the Colorado to survey Grand Canyon. Fifty years after John Wesley Powell's journey, the canyon still had an aura of mystery and extreme danger. At one point, the party was thought lost in a flood.

Something important besides adventure was going on. Led by Claude Birdseye and including colorful characters such as early river-runner Emery Kolb, popular writer Lewis Freeman, and hydraulic engineer Eugene La Rue, the expedition not only made the first accurate survey of the river gorge but sought to decide the canyon's fate. The primary goal was to determine the best places to dam the Grand. With Boulder Dam not yet built, the USGS, especially La Rue, contested with the Bureau of Reclamation over how best to develop the Colorado River. The survey party played a major role in what was known and thought about Grand Canyon.

The authors weave a narrative from the party's firsthand accounts and frame it with a thorough history of water politics and development and the Colorado River. The recommended dams were not built, but the survey both provided base data that stood the test of time and helped define Grand Canyon in the popular imagination.

Also by Robert Webb:   Lee's Ferry

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The Dawn of Green
Manchester, Thirlmere, and Modern Environmentalism
Harriet Ritvo
University of Chicago Press, 2009
Located in the heart of England’s Lake District, the placid waters of Thirlmere seem to be the embodiment of pastoral beauty. But under their calm surface lurks the legacy of a nineteenth-century conflict that pitted industrial progress against natural conservation—and helped launch the environmental movement as we know it. Purchased by the city of Manchester in the 1870s, Thirlmere was dammed and converted into a reservoir, its water piped one hundred miles south to the burgeoning industrial city and its workforce. This feat of civil engineering—and of natural resource diversion—inspired one of the first environmental struggles of modern times. The Dawn of Green re-creates the battle for Thirlmere and the clashes between conservationists who wished to preserve the lake and developers eager to supply the needs of a growing urban population. Bringing to vivid life the colorful and strong-minded characters who populated both sides of the debate, noted historian Harriet Ritvo revisits notions of the natural promulgated by romantic poets, recreationists, resource managers, and industrial developers to establish Thirlmere as the template for subsequent—and continuing—environmental struggles.
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The Death of Aztec Tenochtitlan, the Life of Mexico City
By Barbara E. Mundy
University of Texas Press, 2015

Winner, Book Prize in Latin American Studies, Colonial Section of Latin American Studies Association (LASA), 2016
ALAA Book Award, Association for Latin American Art/Arvey Foundation, 2016

The capital of the Aztec empire, Tenochtitlan, was, in its era, one of the largest cities in the world. Built on an island in the middle of a shallow lake, its population numbered perhaps 150,000, with another 350,000 people in the urban network clustered around the lake shores. In 1521, at the height of Tenochtitlan’s power, which extended over much of Central Mexico, Hernando Cortés and his followers conquered the city. Cortés boasted to King Charles V of Spain that Tenochtitlan was “destroyed and razed to the ground.” But was it?

Drawing on period representations of the city in sculptures, texts, and maps, The Death of Aztec Tenochtitlan, the Life of Mexico City builds a convincing case that this global capital remained, through the sixteenth century, very much an Amerindian city. Barbara E. Mundy foregrounds the role the city’s indigenous peoples, the Nahua, played in shaping Mexico City through the construction of permanent architecture and engagement in ceremonial actions. She demonstrates that the Aztec ruling elites, who retained power even after the conquest, were instrumental in building and then rebuilding the city. Mundy shows how the Nahua entered into mutually advantageous alliances with the Franciscans to maintain the city's sacred nodes. She also focuses on the practical and symbolic role of the city’s extraordinary waterworks—the product of a massive ecological manipulation begun in the fifteenth century—to reveal how the Nahua struggled to maintain control of water resources in early Mexico City.

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Desert Water
The Future of Utah's Water Resources
Hal Crimmel
University of Utah Press, 2014
Hal Crimmel has brought the findings of science together with the experienced voices of environmental social scientists, humanists, and activists to provide perspective on Utah water issues. The matters discussed are relevant beyond this one state, as similar conditions and concerns, especially over supply and demand in the face of demographic and climate change, exist throughout the West. Some of the essays are scientific and analytical; others literary and personal. Together they draw attention to problems that Utah residents and policy makers must address but also emphasize ways to build solutions. Desert Water will help citizens, policy makers, and anyone interested in Utah’s water supply and use—as everyone in the state should be—understand the real challengesand ethicsinvolved in managing this vital, finite resource. By awareness, these essays should create a sense of urgency for finding workable solutions. 
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Divided Waters
Bridging the U.S.-Mexico Border
Helen Ingram, Nancy K. Laney, and David M. Gillilan
University of Arizona Press, 1995
Among all natural resource and environmental problems between the United States and Mexico, water has been the most troublesome, with ongoing historic contests over water supply becoming superseded by new controversies over water quality. Divided Waters analyzes the politics of water management along the U.S.-Mexico border, using the case of Nogales, Arizona and Nogales, Sonora as a window on the problems and possibilities involved. The authors explore the water problems that Ambos Nogales shares with larger border communities—surface and groundwater contamination, inadequate and insecure supplies, inequitable distribution of resources, flooding, and endangered riparian habitats—considering both the physical characteristics of the water supply and the coping mechanisms of the people who make use of it. They review the prevailing confusion of laws, administrative practices, and political incentives, then recommend the design elements they believe must be included before successful improvements can occur at both the institutional and the resource management levels.
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Downriver
Into the Future of Water in the West
Heather Hansman
University of Chicago Press, 2019
Award-winning journalist rafts down the Green River, revealing a multifaceted look at the present and future of water in the American West.

The Green River, the most significant tributary of the Colorado River, runs 730 miles from the glaciers of Wyoming to the desert canyons of Utah. Over its course, it meanders through ranches, cities, national parks, endangered fish habitats, and some of the most significant natural gas fields in the country, as it provides water for 33 million people. Stopped up by dams, slaked off by irrigation, and dried up by cities, the Green is crucial, overused, and at-risk, now more than ever.
 
Fights over the river’s water, and what’s going to happen to it in the future, are longstanding, intractable, and only getting worse as the West gets hotter and drier and more people depend on the river with each passing year. As a former raft guide and an environmental reporter, Heather Hansman knew these fights were happening, but she felt driven to see them from a different perspective—from the river itself. So she set out on a journey, in a one-person inflatable pack raft, to paddle the river from source to confluence and see what the experience might teach her. Mixing lyrical accounts of quiet paddling through breathtaking beauty with nights spent camping solo and lively discussions with farmers, city officials, and other people met along the way, Downriver is the story of that journey, a foray into the present—and future—of water in the West.
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Dripping Dry
Literature, Politics and Water in the Desert Southwest
David N. Cassuto
University of Michigan Press, 2001
More than any other single characteristic, aridity defines the American West. Water scarcity and its biologically critical function have also molded the regional literature of the region. Using novels by Barbara Kingsolver, Edward Abbey, John Steinbeck and Mary Austin, Dripping Dry combines literary analysis with environmental criticism to demonstrate how the myths that have pervaded the regional literature of the West have interacted with the myths that have shaped water policy throughout the twentieth century.
The four works selected (Animal Dreams, The Monkey Wrench Gang, The Grapes of Wrath, and The Ford) present a composite portrait of reclamation, which the author argues is one of the most important cultural and ecological phenomena in the nation's history. The tensions and contradictions presented by the novels underscore the compelling need for an ecocritique of the relationship between literature and politics. David N. Cassuto deciphers the myths of reclamation and restoration and presents a third alternative--sustainability--in their stead. The challenge is a large one, because of the size and complexity of the region and because nature continues to evolve and create itself, a process involving language, ideology, and the land.
The book is designed to be an interdisciplinary contribution both to the emerging field of literature and the environment, as well as to environmental studies. It will be welcomed by scholars as well as general readers interested in new approaches to literature and environmental issues, and by those interested in the geography and literature of the western United States.
David N. Cassuto, formerly of the English Department of the University of Missouri-Rolla, is a practicing attorney in San Francisco, specializing in environmental issues.
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Drought, Water Law, and the Origins of California's Central Valley Project
Tim Stroshane
University of Nevada Press, 2016
This book is an account of how water rights were designed as a key part of the state’s largest public water system, the Central Valley Project. Along sixty miles of the San Joaquin River, from Gustine to Mendota, four corporate entities called “exchange contractors” retain paramount water rights to the river. Their rights descend from the days of the Miller & Lux Cattle Company, which amassed an empire of land and water from the 1850s through the 1920s and protected these assets through business deals and prolific litigation. Miller & Lux’s dominance of the river relied on what many in the San Joaquin Valley regarded as wasteful irrigation practices and unreasonable water usage. Economic and political power in California’s present water system was born of this monopoly on water control. Stroshane tells how drought and legal conflict shaped statewide economic development and how the grand bargain of a San Joaquin River water exchange was struck from this monopoly legacy, setting the stage for future water wars. His analysis will appeal to readers interested in environmental studies and public policy.
 
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Dry
Life Without Water
Ehsan Masood
Harvard University Press, 2006

Water is in the air we breathe and beneath the ground we walk on. The very substance of life, it makes up as much as 60 percent of the human body. And yet, for one billion people there is such a thing as life without water. These are the people we meet in Dry--those who live in the dry lands of Africa, Asia, the Pacific, and the Americas, eking out an existence at once remarkable and mundane between craggy mountains, near oases, or close to well-springs surrounded by cracked earth or shifting sands.

From the ingenuity of the highland people of Chile's Atacama desert who use giant nets to capture water from clouds of fog, to the ancient wisdom that protects the grazing lands of Kenya's Masai, this beautifully illustrated book tells the diverse stories about people in very hot, very cold, or very high places, who spend their lives collecting, chasing, piping, and trapping the water that life requires--all the while taking great care that no form of life, plant or animal, benefits at the expense of another.

In a world of finite resources, where the struggle for shrinking sources of water intensifies daily, these stories--collected over three years by photographers, writers, and scientists from four continents--are a source of hope and wonder. This book contains a wealth of information and images designed to further awareness of the vast array of life that is carried on precariously yet proudly on the earth's dryest lands.

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Fluid Arguments
Five Centuries of Western Water Conflict
Edited by Char Miller
University of Arizona Press, 2001
Water—or the lack of it—has shaped the contours of the American West and continues to dominate the region's development. From the incursions of the Spanish conquistadores to the dams of the New Deal era, humans have sought water in these arid lands as the key to survival and success. And as the West becomes more urbanized, water is an issue as never before. This book sets contemporary and often bitter debates over water in their historical contexts by examining some of the most contentious issues that have confronted the region over five centuries.

Seventeen contributors—representing history, geography, ethnography, political science, law, and urban studies—provide an interdisciplinary perspective on the many dimensions of water in the West: Spanish colonial water law, Native American water rights, agricultural concerns, and dam building. A concluding essay looks toward the future by examining the impact of cities on water and of water marketing on the western economy.

As farmers and ranchers from Kansas to California compete for water with powerful urban economies, the West will continue to be reshaped by this scarce and precious resource. Fluid Arguments clearly shows that many of the current disputes over water take place without a real appreciation for the long history of the debate. By shedding new light on how water allocation is established—and who controls it—this book makes a vital contribution to our understanding of water and growth in the region.

CONTENTS

Divining the Past: An Introduction / Char Miller

Part 1. Land and Water on New Spain’s Frontiers
1. "Only Fit for Raising Stock": Spanish and Mexican Land and Water Rights in the Tamaulipan Cession / Jesús F. de la Teja
2. Water, the Gila River Pimas, and the Arrival of the Spanish / Shelly C. Dudley
3. "Between This River and That": Establishing Water Rights in the Chama Basin of New Mexico / Sandra K. Mathews-Lamb

Part 2. The Native American Struggle for Water
4. Maggot Creek and Other Tales: Kiowa Identity and Water, 1870-1920 / Bonnie Lynn-Sherow
5. The Dilemmas of Indian Water Policy, 1887-1928 / Donald J. Pisani
6. First in Time: Tribal Reserved Water Rights and General Adjudications in New Mexico / Alan S. Newell
7. Winters Comes Home to Roost / Daniel McCool

Part 3. Agricultural Conundrums
8. Water, Sun, and Cattle: The Chisholm Trail as an Ephemeral Ecosystem / James E. Sherow
9. Private Irrigation in Colorado’s Grand Valley / Brad F. Raley
10. A Rio Grande "Brew": Agriculture, Industry, and Water Quality in the Lower Rio Grande Valley / John P. Tiefenbacher
11. Specialization and Diversification in the Agricultural System of Southwestern Kansas, 1887-1980 / Thomas C. Schafer
12. John Wesley Powell Was Right: Resizing the Ogallala High Plains / John Opie

Part 4. Dam those Waters!
13. Private Initiative, Public Works: Ed Fletcher, the Santa Fe Railway, and Phoenix’s Cave Creek Flood Control Dam / Donald C. Jackson
14. The Changing Fortunes of the Big Dam Era in the American West / Mark Harvey
15. Building Dams and Damning People in the Texas-Mexico Border Region: Mexico’s El Cuchillo Dam Project / Raúl M. Sánchez

Part 5. The Coming Fight
16. Water and the Western Service Economy: A New Challenge / Hal K. Rothman
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Fluid Geographies
Water, Science, and Settler Colonialism in New Mexico
K. Maria D. Lane
University of Chicago Press, 2024
An unprecedented analysis of the origin story of New Mexico’s modern water management system.
 
Maria Lane’s Fluid Geographies traces New Mexico’s transition from a community-based to an expert-led system of water management during the pre-statehood era. To understand this major shift, Lane carefully examines the primary conflict of the time, which pitted Indigenous and Nuevomexicano communities, with their long-established systems of irrigation management, against Anglo-American settlers, who benefitted from centralized bureaucratic management of water. The newcomers’ system eventually became settled law, but water disputes have continued throughout the district courts of New Mexico’s Rio Grande watershed ever since.
 
Using a fine-grained analysis of legislative texts and nearly two hundred district court cases, Lane analyzes evolving cultural patterns and attitudes toward water use and management in a pivotal time in New Mexico’s history. Illuminating complex themes for a general audience, Fluid Geographies helps readers understand how settler colonialism constructed a racialized understanding of scientific expertise and legitimized the dispossession of nonwhite communities in New Mexico.
 
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Forced to Abandon Our Fields
The 1914 Clay Southworth Gila River Pima Interviews
David H. DeJong
University of Utah Press, 2011

During the nineteenth century, upstream diversions from the Gila River decreased the arable land on the Gila River Indian Reservation to only a few thousand acres. As a result the Pima Indians, primarily an agricultural people, fell into poverty. Many Pima farmers and leaders lamented this suffering and in 1914 the United States Indian Irrigation Service assigned a 33-year-old engineer named Clay “Charles” Southworth to oversee the Gila River adjudication. As part of that process, Southworth interviewed 34 Pima elders, thus putting a face on the depth of hardships facing many Indians in the late nineteenth century.

Southworth’s interviews fell into obscurity until recently, when they were rediscovered by David DeJong. The interviews cover decades of Pima history and reveal the nexus between upstream diversions and Pima economy, agriculture, water use, and water rights. In Forced to Abandon Our Fields, DeJong provides the historical context for these interviews; transcripts of the interviews provide first-hand descriptions of both the once-successful Pima agricultural economy and its decline by the early twentieth century. These interviews suggest that it was not the triumph of Western civilization that displaced the Pima agricultural economy but the application of a philosophy of economic liberalism that prevented the Pima from building on their previous successes.
 
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Frontinus' Legacy
Essays on Frontinus' de aquis urbis Romae
Deane R. Blackman and A. Trevor Hodge, Editors
University of Michigan Press, 2001
The city of Rome depended on a complex system of aqueducts for survival, and Frontinus purports to tell his readers how best to manage this system. Although his text is largely technical, his treatment of technicalities is not always clear, raising the question of how well he, and the Romans, really understood hydraulics.
This interdisciplinary study of Frontinus' work addresses the questions that lie between the lines of his text. How large a work force was required to build an aqueduct, and how did they go about doing it? What did such an undertaking cost, and who was responsible for paying? Who decided which route should be followed? Why did Frontinus feel a need to write this book? Who was his audience?
To date, Frontinus has been subjected to very little critical scrutiny. Deane R. Blackman and A. Trevor Hodge have gathered here a wide range of recognized authorities--in classics, hydraulics engineering, surveying, financing, and the formation of calcium carbonate deposits in the water conduits-- to examine the puzzle Frontinus has left us.
Deane R. Blackman is Associate Professor of Engineering, Monash University. A. Trevor Hodge is Distinguished Research Professor of Classics, Carleton University.
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Fuel for Growth
Water and Arizona's Urban Environment
Douglas E. Kupel
University of Arizona Press, 2003
Cities in the arid West would not be what they are today without water and the technology needed to deliver it to users. The history of water development in Arizona goes hand in hand with the state's economic growth, and Arizona's future is inextricably tied to this scarce resource.

Fuel for Growth describes and interprets the history of water resource development and its relationship to urban development in Arizona's three signature cities: Phoenix, Tucson, and Flagstaff. These three urban areas could hardly be more different: a growth-oriented metropolis, an environmentally conscious city with deep cultural roots, and an outdoor-friendly mountain town. Despite these differences, their community leaders and public officials have taken similar approaches to developing water resources with varying degrees of success and acceptance.

Douglas Kupel has created a new vision of water history based on the Arizona experience. He challenges many of the traditional assumptions of environmental history by revealing that the West's aridity has had relatively little impact on the development of municipal water infrastructure in these cities. While urban growth in the West is often characterized as the product of an elite group of water leaders, the development of Arizona's cities is shown to reflect the broad aspirations of all their citizens.

The book traces water development from the era of private water service to municipal ownership of water utilities and examines the impact of the post-World War II boom and subsequent expansion. Taking in the Salt River Project, the Central Arizona Project, and the Groundwater Management Act of 1980, Kupel explores the ongoing struggle between growth and environmentalism. He advocates public policy measures that can sustain a water future for the state.

As the urban West enters a new century of water management, Arizona's progress will increasingly be tied to that of its ever-expanding cities. Fuel for Growth documents an earlier era of urban water use and provides important recommendations for the future path of water development in the West's key population centers.

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A Future History of Water
Andrea Ballestero
Duke University Press, 2019
Based on fieldwork among state officials, NGOs, politicians, and activists in Costa Rica and Brazil, A Future History of Water traces the unspectacular work necessary to make water access a human right and a human right something different from a commodity. Andrea Ballestero shows how these ephemeral distinctions are made through four technolegal devices—formula, index, list and pact. She argues that what is at stake in these devices is not the making of a distinct future but what counts as the future in the first place. A Future History of Water is an ethnographically rich and conceptually charged journey into ant-filled water meters, fantastical water taxonomies, promises captured on slips of paper, and statistical maneuvers that dissolve the human of human rights. Ultimately, Ballestero demonstrates what happens when instead of trying to fix its meaning, we make water’s changing form the precondition of our analyses.
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Golden Rules
The Origins of California Water Law in the Gold Rush
Mark Kanazawa
University of Chicago Press, 2015
Fresh water has become scarce and will become even more so in the coming years, as continued population growth places ever greater demands on the supply of fresh water. At the same time, options for increasing that supply look to be ever more limited. No longer can we rely on technological solutions to meet growing demand. What we need is better management of the available water supply to ensure it goes further toward meeting basic human needs. But better management requires that we both understand the history underlying our current water regulation regime and think seriously about what changes to the law could be beneficial.

For Golden Rules, Mark Kanazawa draws on previously untapped historical sources to trace the emergence of the current framework for resolving water-rights issues to California in the 1850s, when Gold Rush miners flooded the newly formed state. The need to circumscribe water use on private property in support of broader societal objectives brought to light a number of fundamental issues about how water rights ought to be defined and enforced through a system of laws. Many of these issues reverberate in today’s contentious debates about the relative merits of government and market regulation. By understanding how these laws developed across California’s mining camps and common-law courts, we can also gain a better sense of the challenges associated with adopting new property-rights regimes in the twenty-first century.
[more]

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Good Water
Kevin Holdsworth
University Press of Colorado, 2016

In essays that combine memoir with biography of place, Kevin Holdsworth creates a public history of the land he calls home: Good Water, Utah. The high desert of south-central Utah is at the heart of the stories he tells here—about the people, the “survivors and casualties” of the small, remote town—and is at the heart of his own story.

Holdsworth also explores history at a personal level: how Native American history is preserved by local park officials; how Mormon settlers adapted to remote, rugged places; how small communities attract and retain those less likely to thrive closer to population centers; and how he became involved in local politics. He confronts the issues of land use and misuse in the West, from the lack of water to greed and corruption over natural resources, but also considers life’s simple pleasures like the value of scenery and the importance of occasionally tossing a horseshoe.

Good Water’s depiction of modern-day Utah and exploration of friendships and bonding on the Western landscape will fascinate and entice readers in the West and beyond.

[more]

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The Great Lakes Water Wars
Peter Annin
Island Press, 2018
The Great Lakes are the largest system of freshwater lakes in the world and America’s greatest freshwater resource. For over a century they have been the target of controversial diversion schemes designed to sell, send, or ship water to thirsty communities, sometimes far from the source. In part to protect the Great Lakes from overzealous entrepreneurship, the Great Lakes Compact was signed in 2008. Although the Compact fulfills that promise and ensures that Great Lakes water stays within the Basin, some would say it has only shifted the controversy closer to home. Now water diversion controversies of a different kind are some of the most fought-over environmental issues in the region. Will the water wars ever be settled?

Journalist Peter Annin delves deeply into the fraught history of water use in the Great Lakes region and recaps the story of the Chicago River diversion, which reversed the flow of the river, fundamentally transforming the Great Lakes ecosystem. A century later it remains “the poster child of bad behavior in the Great Lakes.” Today, with growing communities and a warming climate, tensions over water use are high, and controversies on the perimeter of the Great Lakes Basin are on the rise. In this new and expanded edition of The Great Lakes Water Wars, Annin shares the stories of New Berlin and Waukesha, two Wisconsin communities straddling the Basin boundary whose recent legal battles have tested the legislative strength of the newly signed Compact. Annin devotes a new chapter to the volatile issue of the invasive Asian carp—a voracious species that reproduces at a disturbing rate—which is transforming the ecology of the river as it makes its way through the Chicago River diversion and ever closer to Lake Michigan.

With three new chapters and significant revisions to existing chapters that bring the story up-to-date over the past decade, this is the definitive behind-the-scenes account of the people and stories behind hard-fought battles to protect this precious resource that makes the region so special for the millions who call it home.
 
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The Great Lakes Water Wars
Peter Annin
Island Press, 2009
The Great Lakes are the largest collection of fresh surface water on earth, and more than 40 million Americans and Canadians live in their basin. Will we divert water from the Great Lakes, causing them to end up like Central Asia's Aral Sea, which has lost 90 percent of its surface area and 75 percent of its volume since 1960? Or will we come to see that unregulated water withdrawals are ultimately catastrophic?
 
Peter Annin writes a fast-paced account of the people and stories behind these upcoming battles. Destined to be the definitive story for the general public as well as policymakers, The Great Lakes Water Wars is a balanced, comprehensive look behind the scenes at the conflicts and compromises that are the past-and future-of this unique resource.
[more]

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Heavy Ground
William Mulholland and the St. Francis Dam Disaster
Norris Hundley
University of Nevada Press, 2020
Heavy Ground explores the social, political, and technological history of the St. Francis Dam Disaster in California, the worst civil engineering disaster in twentieth-century American History. Approximately 400 people died in March 1928, when the concrete gravity dam built by Los Angeles engineer William Mulholland suddenly and tragically collapsed, releasing over 12 billion gallons of water into the Santa Clara River Valley.
 
[more]

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Hydraulic City
Water and the Infrastructures of Citizenship in Mumbai
Nikhil Anand
Duke University Press, 2017
In Hydraulic City Nikhil Anand explores the politics of Mumbai's water infrastructure to demonstrate how citizenship emerges through the continuous efforts to control, maintain, and manage the city's water. Through extensive ethnographic fieldwork in Mumbai's settlements, Anand found that Mumbai's water flows, not through a static collection of pipes and valves, but through a dynamic infrastructure built on the relations between residents, plumbers, politicians, engineers, and the 3,000 miles of pipe that bind them. In addition to distributing water, the public water network often reinforces social identities and the exclusion of marginalized groups, as only those actively recognized by city agencies receive legitimate water services. This form of recognition—what Anand calls "hydraulic citizenship"—is incremental, intermittent, and reversible. It provides residents an important access point through which they can make demands on the state for other public services such as sanitation and education. Tying the ways Mumbai's poorer residents are seen by the state to their historic, political, and material relations with water pipes, the book highlights the critical role infrastructures play in consolidating civic and social belonging in the city.
[more]

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Hydraulic Societies
Water, Power, and Control in East and Central Asian History
Nicholas B. Breyfogle
Oregon State University Press, 2023

Hydraulic Societies explores the linked themes of water, power, state-building, and hydraulic control. Bringing together a range of ecological, geographical, chronological, and methodological perspectives, the essays in this book address the how humans have long harnessed water and sought to contain its destructive power for political, economic and social ends. Water defines every aspect of life and remains at the center of human activity: in irrigation and agriculture; waste and sanitation; drinking and disease; floods and droughts; religious beliefs and practices; fishing and aquaculture; travel and discovery; scientific study; water pollution and conservation; multi-purpose dam building; boundaries and borders; politics and economic life; and wars and diplomacy.  

From the earliest large irrigation works thousands of years ago, control over water has involved control over people, as the essays in this volume reflect. The intersections of water and political, economic, and social power historically span international as well as domestic politics and operate at scales ranging from the local to the global. The authors consider the role of water in national development schemes, water distribution as a tool of political power, international disputes over waterways and water supplies, and the place of water in armed conflicts. They explore the ways in which political power and social hierarchies have themselves been defined and redefined by water and its control, how state leaders legitimized their rule both culturally and economically through the control of water, and how water management schemes were a means to impose and refine colonial power.

[more]

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Indian Water in the New West
Thomas R. McGuire
University of Arizona Press, 1993
Brings together the views of engineers, lawyers, ecologists, economists, professional mediators, federal officials, an anthropologist, and a Native American tribal leader--all either students of these processes or protagonists in them--to discuss how the legitimate claims of both Indians and non-Indians to scarce water in the West are being settled.
[more]

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Infrastructure, Environment, and Life in the Anthropocene
Kregg Hetherington, editor
Duke University Press, 2019
Infrastructure, Environment, and Life in the Anthropocene explores life in the age of climate change through a series of infrastructural puzzles—sites at which it has become impossible to disentangle the natural from the built environment. With topics ranging from breakwaters built of oysters, underground rivers made by leaky pipes, and architecture gone weedy to neighborhoods partially submerged by rising tides, the contributors explore situations that destabilize the concepts we once relied on to address environmental challenges. They take up the challenge that the Anthropocene poses both to life on the planet and to our social-scientific understanding of it by showing how past conceptions of environment and progress have become unmoored and what this means for how we imagine the future.

Contributors. Nikhil Anand, Andrea Ballestero, Bruce Braun, Ashley Carse, Gastón R. Gordillo, Kregg Hetherington, Casper Bruun Jensen, Joseph Masco, Shaylih Muehlmann, Natasha Myers, Stephanie Wakefield, Austin Zeiderman
[more]

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Keepers of the Spring
Reclaiming Our Water In An Age Of Globalization
Fred Pearce
Island Press, 2004

Water has long been the object of political ambition and conflict. Recent history is full of leaders who tried to harness water to realize national dreams. Yet the people who most need water-farmers, rural villages, impoverished communities-are too often left, paradoxically, with desiccated fields, unfulfilled promises, and refugee status.

It doesn't have to be this way, according to Fred Pearce. A veteran science news correspondent, Pearce has for over fifteen years chronicled the development of large-scale water projects like China's vast Three Gorges dam and India's Sardar Sarovar. But, as he and numerous other authors have pointed out, far from solving our water problems, these industrial scale projects, and others now in the planning, are bringing us to the brink of a global water crisis.

Pearce decided there had to be a better way.

To find it, he traveled the globe in search of alternatives to mega-engineering projects. In Keepers of the Spring, he brings back intriguing stories from people like Yannis Mitsis, an ethnic Greek Cypriot, who is the last in his line to know the ways and whereabouts of a network of underground tunnels that have for centuries delivered to farming communities the water they need to survive on an arid landscape. He recounts the inspiring experiences of small-scale water stewards like Kenyan Jane Ngei, who reclaimed for her people a land abandoned by her government as a wasteland. And he tells of many others who are developing new techniques and rediscovering ancient ones to capture water for themselves.

In so doing, Pearce documents that these "keepers" are not merely isolated examples, but collectively constitute an entire alternative tradition of working with natural flows rather than trying to reengineer nature to provide water for human needs.

The solution to our water problems, he finds, may not lie in new technologies-though they will play a role-but in recovering ancient traditions, using water more efficiently, and better understanding local hydrology. Are these approaches adequate to serve the world's growing populations? The answer remains unclear. But we ignore them at our own peril.

[more]

front cover of A Land Made from Water
A Land Made from Water
Appropriation and the Evolution of Colorado's Landscape, Ditches, and Water Institutions
Robert R. Crifasi
University Press of Colorado, 2016

A Land Made from Water chronicles how the appropriation and development of water and riparian resources in Colorado changed the face of the Front Range—an area that was once a desert and is now an irrigated oasis suitable for the habitation and support of millions of people. This comprehensive history of human intervention in the Boulder Creek and Lefthand Creek valleys explores the complex interactions between environmental and historical factors to show how thoroughly the environment along the Front Range is a product of human influence.

Author Robert Crifasi examines the events that took place in nineteenth-century Boulder County, Colorado, and set the stage for much of the water development that occurred throughout Colorado and the American West over the following century. Settlers planned and constructed ditches, irrigation systems, and reservoirs; initiated the seminal court decisions establishing the appropriation doctrine; and instigated war to wrest control of the region from the local Native American population. Additionally, Crifasi places these river valleys in the context of a continent-wide historical perspective.

By examining the complex interaction of people and the environment over time, A Land Made from Water links contemporary issues facing Front Range water users to the historical evolution of the current water management system and demonstrates the critical role people have played in creating ecosystems that are often presented to the public as “natural” or “native.” It will appeal to students, scholars, professionals, and general readers interested in water history, water management, water law, environmental management, political ecology, or local natural history.

[more]

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The Last Drop
The Politics of Water
Mike Gonzalez and Marianella Yanes
Pluto Press, 2015
The one indispensable resource, water is increasingly controlled and even owned by private capital. By 2012, water was a trillion-dollar industry—and as population growth, industrial production, and ecological change make scarcity ever-more common, water may well become the source of military and political conflict in the years to come.
 
This book looks at how we got here and what we can and should do next. Laying out the complex arguments surrounding water, its ownership and access to it, Mike Gonzalez and Marianella Yanes make the technical and scientific aspects of the discussion clear and accessible—and thereby enable themselves to make the political questions more urgent. Pushing back against the market fundamentalists, the authors argue that it is both possible and necessary that considerations of equity and social justice prevail in the debates about water. Powerful and polemical, The Last Drop will be a vital resource for water activists worldwide.
[more]

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Last Water on the Devil's Highway
A Cultural and Natural History of Tinajas Altas
Bill Broyles, Gayle Harrison Hartmann, Thomas E. Sheridan, Gary Paul Nabhan, and Mary Charlotte Thurtle
University of Arizona Press, 2013
The Devil’s Highway—El Camino del Diablo—crosses hundreds of miles and thousands of years of Arizona and Southwest history. This heritage trail follows a torturous route along the U.S. Mexico border through a lonely landscape of cactus, desert flats, drifting sand dunes, ancient lava flows, and searing summer heat. The most famous waterhole along the way is Tinajas Altas, or High Tanks, a series of natural rock basins that are among the few reliable sources of water in this notoriously parched region.

Now an expert cast of authors describes, narrates, and explains the human and natural history of this special place in a thorough and readable account. Addressing the latest archaeological and historical findings, they reveal why Tinajas Altas was so important and how it related to other waterholes in the arid borderlands. Readers can feel like pioneers, following in the footsteps of early Native Americans, Spanish priests and soldiers, gold seekers and borderland explorers, tourists, and scholars.

Combining authoritative writing with a rich array of more than 180 illustrations and maps as well as detailed appendixes providing up-to-date information on the wildlife and plants that live in the area, Last Water on the Devil’s Highway allows readers to uncover the secrets of this fascinating place, revealing why it still attracts intrepid tourists and campers today.
[more]

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London
Water and the Making of the Modern City
John Broich
University of Pittsburgh Press, 2013

As people crowded into British cities in the nineteenth century, industrial and biological waste byproducts and then epidemic followed. Britons died by the thousands in recurring plagues. Figures like Edwin Chadwick and John Snow pleaded for measures that could save lives and preserve the social fabric.

The solution that prevailed was the novel idea that British towns must build public water supplies, replacing private companies. But the idea was not an obvious or inevitable one. Those who promoted new waterworks argued that they could use water to realize a new kind of British society—a productive social machine, a new moral community, and a modern civilization. They did not merely cite the dangers of epidemic or scarcity. Despite many debates and conflicts, this vision won out—in town after town, from Birmingham to Liverpool to Edinburgh, authorities gained new powers to execute municipal water systems.

But in London local government responded to environmental pressures with a plan intended to help remake the metropolis into a collectivist society. The Conservative national government, in turn, sought to impose a water administration over the region that would achieve its own competing political and social goals. The contestants over London’s water supply matched divergent strategies for administering London’s water with contending visions of modern society. And the matter was never pedestrian. The struggle over these visions was joined by some of the most colorful figures of the late Victorian period, including John Burns, Lord Salisbury, Bernard Shaw, and Sidney and Beatrice Webb.

As Broich demonstrates, the debate over how to supply London with water came to a head when the climate itself forced the endgame near the end of the nineteenth century. At that decisive moment, the Conservative party succeeded in dictating the relationship between water, power, and society in London for many decades to come.

[more]

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Mapping Abundance for a Planetary Future
Kanaka Maoli and Critical Settler Cartographies in Hawai'i
Candace Fujikane
Duke University Press, 2021
In Mapping Abundance for a Planetary Future, Candace Fujikane contends that the practice of mapping abundance is a radical act in the face of settler capital's fear of an abundance that feeds. Cartographies of capital enable the seizure of abundant lands by enclosing "wastelands" claimed to be underdeveloped. By contrast, Kanaka Maoli (Native Hawaiian) cartographies map the continuities of abundant worlds. Vital to restoration movements is the art of kilo, intergenerational observation of elemental forms encoded in storied histories, chants, and songs. As a participant in these movements, Fujikane maps the ecological lessons of these elemental forms: reptilian deities who protect the waterways, sharks who swim into the mountains, the navigator Māui who fishes up the islands, the deities of snow and mists on Mauna Kea. The laws of these elements are now being violated by toxic waste dumping, leaking military jet fuel tanks, and astronomical-industrial complexes. As Kānaka Maoli and their allies stand as land and water protectors, Fujikane calls for a profound attunement to the elemental forms in order to transform climate events into renewed possibilities for planetary abundance.
[more]

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Mirage
Florida and the Vanishing Water of the Eastern U.S.
Cynthia Barnett
University of Michigan Press, 2007

“Never before has the case been more compellingly made that America’s dependence on a free and abundant water supply has become an illusion. Cynthia Barnett does it by telling us the stories of the amazing personalities behind our water wars, the stunning contradictions that allow the wettest state to have the most watered lawns, and the thorough research that makes her conclusions inescapable. Barnett has established herself as one of Florida’s best journalists and Mirage is a must-read for anyone who cares about the future of the state.”

—Mary Ellen Klas, Capital Bureau Chief, Miami Herald

Mirage is the finest general study to date of the freshwater-supply crisis in Florida. Well-meaning villains abound in Cynthia Barnett’s story, but so too do heroes, such as Arthur R. Marshall Jr., Nathaniel Reed, and Marjorie Harris Carr. The author’s research is as thorough as her prose is graceful. Drinking water is the new oil. Get used to it.”

—Michael Gannon, Distinguished Professor of history, University of Florida, and author of Florida: A Short History

“With lively prose and a journalist’s eye for a good story, Cynthia Barnett offers a sobering account of water scarcity problems facing Florida—one of our wettest states—and the rest of the East Coast. Drawing on lessons learned from the American West, Mirage uses the lens of cultural attitudes about water use and misuse to plead for reform. Sure to engage and fascinate as it informs.”

—Robert Glennon, Morris K. Udall Professor of Law and Public Policy, University of Arizona, and author of Water Follies: Groundwater Pumping and the Fate of America’s Fresh Waters

Part investigative journalism, part environmental history, Mirage reveals how the eastern half of the nation—historically so wet that early settlers predicted it would never even need irrigation—has squandered so much of its abundant freshwater that it now faces shortages and conflicts once unique to the arid West.

Florida’s parched swamps and supersized residential developments set the stage in the first book to call attention to the steady disappearance of freshwater in the American East, from water-diversion threats in the Great Lakes to tapped-out freshwater aquifers along the Atlantic seaboard.

Told through a colorful cast of characters including Walt Disney, Jeb Bush and Texas oilman Boone Pickens, Mirage ferries the reader through the key water-supply issues facing America and the globe: water wars, the politics of development, inequities in the price of water, the bottled-water industry, privatization, and new-water-supply schemes.

From its calamitous opening scene of a sinkhole swallowing a house in Florida to its concluding meditation on the relationship between water and the American character, Mirage is a compelling and timely portrait of the use and abuse of freshwater in an era of rapidly vanishing natural resources.

[more]

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Mythical River
Chasing the Mirage of New Water in the American Southwest
Melissa L. Sevigny
University of Iowa Press, 2016
In a lyrical mix of natural science, history, and memoir, Melissa L. Sevigny ponders what it means to make a home in the American Southwest at a time when its most essential resource, water, is overexploited and undervalued. Mythical River takes the reader on a historical sojourn into the story of the Buenaventura, an imaginary river that led eighteenth- and nineteenth-century explorers, fur trappers, and emigrants astray for seventy-five years. This mythical river becomes a metaphor for our modern-day attempts to supply water to a growing population in the Colorado River Basin. Readers encounter a landscape literally remapped by the search for “new” water, where rivers flow uphill, dams and deep wells reshape geography, trees become intolerable competitors for water, and new technologies tap into clouds and oceans.

In contrast to this fantasy of abundance, Sevigny explores acts of restoration. From a dismantled dam in Arizona to an accidental wetland in Mexico, she examines how ecologists, engineers, politicians, and citizens have attempted to secure water for desert ecosystems. In a place scarred by conflict, she shows how recognizing the rights of rivers is a path toward water security. Ultimately, Sevigny writes a new map for the future of the American Southwest, a vision of a society that accepts the desert’s limits in exchange for an intimate relationship with the natural world. 
[more]

front cover of On The Border
On The Border
An Environmental History Of San Antonio
Char Miller
University of Pittsburgh Press, 2001

Over the past 300 years, settlement patterns, geography, and climate have greatly affected the ecology of the south Texas landscape. Drawing on a variety of interests and perspectives, the contributors to <I>On the Border</I> probe these evolving relationships in and around San Antonio, the country’s ninth-largest city.

Spanish, Mexican, and American settlers required open expanses of land for agriculture and ranching, displacing indigenous inhabitants. The high poverty traditionally felt by many residents, combined with San Antonio’s environment, has contributed to the development of the city’s unusually complex public health dilemmas. The national drive to preserve historic landmarks and landscapes has been complicated by the blight of homogenous urban sprawl. But no issue has been more contentious than that of water, particularly in a city entirely dependent on a single aquifer in a region of little rain. Managing these environmental concerns is the chief problem facing the city in the new century.

[more]

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Opposing Currents
The Politics of Water and Gender in Latin America
Vivienne Bennett
University of Pittsburgh Press, 2004

This volume focuses on women in Latin America as stakeholders in water resources management. It makes their contributions to grassroots efforts more visible, explains why doing so is essential for effective public policy and planning in the water sector, and provides guidelines for future planning and project implementation.

After an in-depth review of gender and water management policies and issues in relation to domestic usage, irrigation, and sustainable development, the book provides a series of case studies prepared by an interdisciplinary group of scholars and activists. Covering countries throughout the hemisphere, and moving freely from impoverished neighborhoods to the conference rooms of international agencies, the book explores the various ways in which women are-and are not-involved in local water initiatives across Latin America. Insightful analyses reveal what these case studies imply for the success or failure of various regional efforts to improve water accessibility and usability, and suggest new ways of thinking about gender and the environment in the context of specific policies and practices.

[more]

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Outlawing Genocide Denial
The Dilemmas of Official Historical Truth
Guenter Lewy
University of Utah Press, 2014
Historian and political scientist Guenter Lewy is no stranger to the topic of genocide nor to exploring controversial issues. His penchant for approaching topics from contentious angles continues in Outlawing Genocide Denial, as he scrutinizes the practice of criminalizing genocide denial.
 
Holocaust denial can be viewed as another form of hatred against the Jews and preventing it can be understood as a form of warding off hate speech. Germany has made it a crime punishable by law. Other European countries have similar laws. While the rationale for such laws seems reasonable, Lewy asks readers to look again and to consider carefully the dangers that these laws could present. His discussion neither dismisses the ramifications of genocide denial nor justifies it; he instead looks closely at the possible risks of government-enforced interpretations of history.
 
Outlawing genocide denial sets a precedent of allowing governments to dictate historical truth and how events should be interpreted. Such government restrictions can be counterproductive in a democratic society which values freedom of speech. Lewy examines these and related ideas through the analysis of historical and current examples. He posits his own conclusion but leaves it up to readers to view the evidence and arguments and form their own opinions.
[more]

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Overtapped Oasis
Reform Or Revolution For Western Water
Marc Reisner and Sarah F. Bates
Island Press, 1990

Overtapped Oasis analyzes the West's water allocation system from top to bottom and offers dozens of revolutionary proposals for increased efficiency and policy reform. Marc Reisner and Sarah Bates argue that the West's underlying problem is not a shortage of water but the inefficient use of it, a problem caused by a bewildering tangle of federal subsidy programs, restrictive state water codes, anachronistic irrigation practices and -- perhaps most important -- resistance to reform.

[more]

front cover of Pipe Politics, Contested Waters
Pipe Politics, Contested Waters
Embedded Infrastructures of Millennial Mumbai
Lisa Bjorkman
Duke University Press, 2015
Winner, 2014 Joseph W. Elder Prize in the Indian Social Sciences

Despite Mumbai's position as India's financial, economic, and cultural capital, water is chronically unavailable for rich and poor alike. Mumbai's dry taps are puzzling, given that the city does not lack for either water or financial resources. In Pipe Politics, Contested Waters, Lisa Björkman shows how an elite dream to transform Mumbai into a "world class" business center has wreaked havoc on the city’s water pipes. In rich ethnographic detail, Pipe Politics explores how the everyday work of getting water animates and inhabits a penumbra of infrastructural activity—of business, brokerage, secondary markets, and sociopolitical networks—whose workings are reconfiguring and rescaling political authority in the city. Mumbai’s increasingly illegible and volatile hydrologies, Björkman argues, are lending infrastructures increasing political salience just as actual control over pipes and flows becomes contingent on dispersed and intimate assemblages of knowledge, power, and material authority. These new arenas of contestation reveal the illusory and precarious nature of the project to remake Mumbai in the image of Shanghai or Singapore and gesture instead toward the highly contested futures and democratic possibilities of the actually existing city.
 

[more]

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The Politics of Water
Urban Protest, Gender, and Power in Monterrey, Mexico
Vivienne Bennett
University of Pittsburgh Press, 1996

Monterrey is Mexico’s second most important industrial city, emerging in this era of free trade as a cornerstone of Mexico’s economic development.  But development has been uneven and has taken a toll: As recently as the early 1980s, nearly a quarter of the city’s almost three million inhabitants did not have running water in their homes.  At the same time, heavy industry - especially steel, iron, chemical, and paper works - were major users of water in their production processes.

Extensive industrialization coupled with a lack of infrastructure development astonishing in a major industrial city raises serious questions about the process of planning urban services in Mexico.  Bennett uses the water crisis of the 1980s as a lens through which to reveal this planning process and the provision of public services in Monterrey.  She finds three groups who were central to the evolution of the city’s water system: federal and state government leaders, the regional private sector elite (the Grupo Monterrey), and women living in the low-income neighborhoods of the city.

Bennett unravels the politics of water in Monterrey by following three threads of inquiry.  First, she examines the water services themselves - what was built, when, why, and who paid for them.  She then reveals the response of poor women to the water crisis, analyzing who participated in protests, the strategies they used, and how the government responded.  And, finally, she considers the dynamics of planning water services for the private sector and the government in investment and management.  In the end, Monterrey’s water services improved because power relations shifted and because poor women in Monterrey used protests to make national news out of the city’s water crisis.

The Politics of Water makes a significant contribution to the emerging scholarship on regional politics in Mexico and to a deeper understanding of the Monterrey region in particular.  Until recently, most scholarly writing on Mexico spoke of the national political system as a monolithic whole.  Scholars such as Vivienne Bennett are now recognizing the power of local citizens and the significant differences among regions when it comes to politics, policy  making, and governmental investment decisions.

[more]

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Precious Commodity
Providing Water for America’s Cities
Martin V. Melosi
University of Pittsburgh Press, 2011

As an essential resource, water has been the object of warfare, political wrangling, and individual and corporate abuse. It has also become an object of commodification, with multinational corporations vying for water supply contracts in many countries. In Precious Commodity, Martin V. Melosi examines water resources in the United States and addresses whether access to water is an inalienable right of citizens, and if government is responsible for its distribution as a public good.
      Melosi provides historical background on the construction, administration, and adaptability of water supply and wastewater systems in urban America. He cites budgetary constraints and the deterioration of existing water infrastructures as factors leading many municipalities to seriously consider the privatization of their water supply. Melosi also views the role of government in the management of, development of, and legal jurisdiction over America’s rivers and waterways for hydroelectric power, flood control, irrigation, and transportation access. Looking to the future, he compares the costs and benefits of public versus private water supply, examining the global movement toward privatization.

[more]

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Precolumbian Water Management
Ideology, Ritual, and Power
Edited by Lisa J. Lucero and Barbara W. Fash
University of Arizona Press, 2006
Among ancient Mesoamerican and Southwestern peoples, water was as essential as maize for sustenance and was a driving force in the development of complex society. Control of water shaped the political, economic, and religious landscape of the ancient Americas, yet it is often overlooked in Precolumbian studies. Now one volume offers the latest thinking on water systems and their place within the ancient physical and mental language of the region.

Precolumbian Water Management examines water management from both economic and symbolic perspectives. Water management facilities, settlement patterns, shrines, and water-related imagery associated with civic-ceremonial and residential architecture provide evidence that water systems pervade all aspects of ancient society. Through analysis of such data, the contributors seek to combine an understanding of imagery and the religious aspects of water with its functional components, thereby presenting a unified perspective of how water was conceived, used, and represented in ancient greater Mesoamerica. The collection boasts broad chronological and geographical coverage—from the irrigation networks of Teotihuacan to the use of ritual water technology at Casas Grandes—that shows how procurement and storage systems were adapted to local conditions.

The articles consider the mechanisms that were used to build upon the sacredness of water to enhance political authority through time and space and show that water was not merely an essential natural resource but an important spiritual one as well, and that its manipulation was socially far more complex than might appear at first glance. As these papers reveal, an understanding of materials associated with water can contribute much to the ways that archaeologists study ancient cultural systems. Precolumbian Water Management underscores the importance of water management research and the need to include it in archaeological projects of all types.
[more]

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Replenish
The Virtuous Cycle of Water and Prosperity
Sandra Postel
Island Press, 2017
"Nothing is more important to life than water, and no one knows water better than Sandra Postel. Replenish is a wise, sobering, but ultimately hopeful book." —Elizabeth Kolbert

"Remarkable." —New York Times Book Review

"Clear-eyed treatise...Postel makes her case eloquently." —Booklist, starred review


"An informative, purposeful argument." —Kirkus

We have disrupted the natural water cycle for centuries in an effort to control water for our own prosperity. Yet every year, recovery from droughts and floods costs billions of dollars, and we spend billions more on dams, diversions, levees, and other feats of engineering. These massive projects not only are risky financially and environmentally, they often threaten social and political stability. What if the answer was not further control of the water cycle, but repair and replenishment?

Sandra Postel takes readers around the world to explore water projects that work with, rather than against, nature’s rhythms. In New Mexico, forest rehabilitation is safeguarding drinking water; along the Mississippi River, farmers are planting cover crops to reduce polluted runoff; and in China, “sponge cities” are capturing rainwater to curb urban flooding.

Efforts like these will be essential as climate change disrupts both weather patterns and the models on which we base our infrastructure. We will be forced to adapt. The question is whether we will continue to fight the water cycle or recognize our place in it and take advantage of the inherent services nature offers. Water, Postel writes, is a gift, the source of life itself. How will we use this greatest of gifts?
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Rivers of Gold
Designing Markets To Allocate Water In California
Brent M. Haddad
Island Press, 2000

The movement to implement market-based approaches to allocating water is gaining ground across California and in other western states. Proponents argue that markets offer an efficient and cost-effective means of promoting conservation -- those who need water would pay for it on the open market, while others would conserve rather than pay increased prices.

Rivers of Gold takes a new look at California's water-reallocation challenge. The author explains the concept of water markets and the economic theory undergirding them. He shows how some water markets have worked -- and others have failed -- and gives the reader the analytic tools necessary to understand why. The book:

  • provides an overview of water-supply issues in California
  • compares the situation in California with that of other western states
  • considers the different property rights regimes governing current use and their fit with water market institutions
  • explains how water markets would work and their benefits and drawbacks as an allocation mechanism
  • presents a series of case studies of water markets currently in effect in California
  • offers a list of principles for water market design

Rivers of Gold offers a balanced understanding of both the role that markets can play in reallocating water and the limitations of the market mechanism. In the end, the author offers a comprehensive assessment of the institutional design features that any water market should incorporate if it is to reallocate water effectively, in California or in any other region where water is scarce.

Rivers of Gold is the first book to provide a detailed examination of water markets and the institutional design issues associated with them. It is the only book available that presents in-depth case studies of actual water-market transactions, and will be essential reading for water resource professionals and resource economists, as well as for students and scholars of environmental policy, environmental economics, and resource economics.

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Science Be Dammed
How Ignoring Inconvenient Science Drained the Colorado River
Eric Kuhn and John Fleck
University of Arizona Press, 2019
Science Be Dammed is an alarming reminder of the high stakes in the management—and perils in the mismanagement—of water in the western United States.  It seems deceptively simple: even when clear evidence was available that the Colorado River could not sustain ambitious dreaming and planning by decision-makers throughout the twentieth century, river planners and political operatives irresponsibly made the least sustainable and most dangerous long-term decisions.

Arguing that the science of the early twentieth century can shed new light on the mistakes at the heart of the over-allocation of the Colorado River, authors Eric Kuhn and John Fleck delve into rarely reported early studies, showing that scientists warned as early as the 1920s that there was not enough water for the farms and cities boosters wanted to build. Contrary to a common myth that the authors of the Colorado River Compact did the best they could with limited information, Kuhn and Fleck show that development boosters selectively chose the information needed to support their dreams, ignoring inconvenient science that suggested a more cautious approach.

Today water managers are struggling to come to terms with the mistakes of the past. Focused on both science and policy, Kuhn and Fleck unravel the tangled web that has constructed the current crisis. With key decisions being made now, including negotiations for rules governing how the Colorado River water will be used after 2026, Science Be Dammed offers a clear-eyed path forward by looking back.

Understanding how mistakes were made is crucial to understanding our contemporary problems. Science Be Dammed offers important lessons in the age of climate change about the necessity of seeking out the best science to support the decisions we make.
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Science Magazine's State of the Planet 2006-2007
Edited by Donald Kennedy and the Editors of Science
Island Press, 2006
How often in today's environmental debates have you read that "the science is in dispute"-even when there is overwhelming consensus among scientists? Too often, the voice of science is diminished or diluted for the sake of politics, and the public is misled. Now, the most authoritative voice in U.S. science, Science magazine, brings you current scientific knowledge on today's most pressing environmental challenges, from population growth to climate change to biodiversity loss.

Science Magazine's State of the Planet 2006-2007 is a unique contribution that brings together leading environmental scientists and researchers to give readers a comprehensive yet accessible overview of current issues. Included are explanatory essays from Science magazine editor-in-chief Donald Kennedy that tie together the issues and explore the relationships among them. Each of the book's 18 chapters is written by the world's leading experts, such as:

Joel Cohen on population
Peter Gleick on water
Daniel Pauly on fisheries
Thomas Karl on climate change science
Paul Portney on energy and development
Elinor Ostrom and Thomas Dietz on commons management

Interspersed throughout are Science news pieces that highlight particular issues and cases relevant to the main scientific findings. An added feature is the inclusion of definitions of key terms and concepts that help students and nonspecialists understand the issues. Published biennially, State of the Planet is a clear, accessible guide for readers of all levels-from students to professionals.
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Searching Out the Headwaters
Change And Rediscovery In Western Water Policy
Sarah F. Bates, David H. Getches, Lawrence J. MacDonnell, and Charles F. Wilkinson; Natural Resources Law Center
Island Press, 1993

To the uninitiated, water policy seems a complicated, hypertechnical, and incomprehensible subject: a tangle of engineering jargon and legalese surrounding a complex, delicate, and interrelated structure. Decisions concerning the public's waters involve scant public participation, and in such a context, reform seems risky at best.

Searching Out the Headwaters addresses that precarious situation by providing a thorough and straightforward analysis of western water use and the outmoded rules that govern it. The authors begin by tracing the history and evolution of the uses of western water. They describe the demographic and economic changes now occurring in the region, and identify the many communities of interest involved in all water-use issues. After an examination of the central precepts of current water policy, along with their original rationale and subsequent evolution, they consider the reform movement that has recently begun to emerge. In the end, the authors articulate the foundations for a water policy that can meet the needs of the new West and discuss the various means for effectively implementing such a policy, including market economics, regulation, the broad-based use of scientific knowledge, and open and full public participation.

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The Snake River
Window To The West
Tim Palmer
Island Press, 1991

Tim Palmer weaves natural history into a comprehensive account of the complex problems that plague natural resource management throughout the West, as well as the practical solutions that are available.

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Stealing the Gila
The Pima Agricultural Economy and Water Deprivation, 1848-1921
David H. DeJong
University of Arizona Press, 2009
By 1850 the Pima Indians of central Arizona had developed a strong and sustainable agricultural economy based on irrigation. As David H. DeJong demonstrates, the Pima were an economic force in the mid-nineteenth century middle Gila River valley, producing food and fiber crops for western military expeditions and immigrants. Moreover, crops from their fields provided an additional source of food for the Mexican military presidio in Tucson, as well as the U.S. mining districts centered near Prescott. For a brief period of about three decades, the Pima were on an equal economic footing with their non-Indian neighbors.

This economic vitality did not last, however. As immigrants settled upstream from the Pima villages, they deprived the Indians of the water they needed to sustain their economy. DeJong traces federal, territorial, and state policies that ignored Pima water rights even though some policies appeared to encourage Indian agriculture. This is a particularly egregious example of a common story in the West: the flagrant local rejection of Supreme Court rulings that protected Indian water rights. With plentiful maps, tables, and illustrations, DeJong demonstrates that maintaining the spreading farms and growing towns of the increasingly white population led Congress and other government agencies to willfully deny Pimas their water rights.

Had their rights been protected, DeJong argues, Pimas would have had an economy rivaling the local and national economies of the time. Instead of succeeding, the Pima were reduced to cycles of poverty, their lives destroyed by greed and disrespect for the law, as well as legal decisions made for personal gain.
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Stratagems. Aqueducts of Rome
Frontinus
Harvard University Press, 1993

Ancient expertise on water and warfare.

Frontinus, Sextus Iulius, ca. AD 35–103, was a capable Roman civil officer and military commander. Praetor of the city in 70 and consul in 73 or 74, 98 and 100, he was, about the year 76, sent to Britain as governor. He quelled the Silures of Wales, and began to build a road through their territory; his place was taken by Agricola in 78. In 97 he was given the highly esteemed office of Manager of Aqueducts at Rome. He is known to have been an augur, being succeeded by his friend Pliny the Younger.

The two sides of Frontinus’ public career are reflected in his two surviving works. Stratagems, written after 84, gives examples of military stratagems from Greek and Roman history, for the instruction of Roman officers, in three books; the fourth book is concerned largely with military discipline. The Aqueducts of Rome, written in 97–98, gives some historical details and a description of the aqueducts for the water supply of the city, with laws relating to them. Frontinus aimed at being useful and writes in a rather popular style which is both simple and clear.

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The Struggle for Water
Politics, Rationality, and Identity in the American Southwest
Wendy Nelson Espeland
University of Chicago Press, 1998
Nearly fifty years ago, the Bureau of Reclamation proposed building a dam at the confluence of two rivers in Central Arizona. While the dam would bring valuable water to this arid plain, it would also destroy a wildlife habitat, flood archaeological sites, and force the Yavapai Indians off their ancestral home. The Struggle for Water is not only the fascinating story of this controversial and ultimately thwarted public works project but also a study of rationality as a cultural, organizational, and political construct.

In the 1970s, the three groups most intimately involved in the Orme Dam—younger Bureau of Reclamation employees committed to "rational choice" decision making, older Bureau engineers committed to the dam, and the Yavapai community—all found themselves and their values transformed by their struggles. Wendy Nelson Espeland lays bare the relations between interests and identities that emerged during the conflict, creating a contemporary tale of power and colonization, bureaucracies and democratic practice, that asks the crucial question of what it means to be "rational."

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Sustainability and Water Management in the Maya World and Beyond
Jean T. Larmon
University Press of Colorado, 2021
Sustainability and Water Management in the Maya World and Beyond investigates climate change and sustainability through time, exploring how political control of water sources, maintenance of sustainable systems, ideological relationships with water, and fluctuations in water availability have affected and been affected by social change. Contributors focus on and build upon earlier investigations of the global diversity of water management systems and the successes and failures of their employment, while applying a multitude of perspectives on sustainability.
 
The volume focuses primarily on the Precolumbian Maya but offers several analogous case studies outside the ancient Maya world that illustrate the pervasiveness of water’s role in sustainability, including an ethnographic study of the sustainability of small-scale, farmer-managed irrigation systems in contemporary New Mexico and the environmental consequences of Angkor’s growth into the world’s most extensive preindustrial settlement. The archaeological record offers rich data on past politics of climate change, while epigraphic and ethnographic data show how integrated the ideological, political, and environmental worlds of the Maya were.
 
While Sustainability and Water Management in the Maya World and Beyond stresses how lessons from the past offer invaluable insight into current approaches of adaptation, it also advances our understanding of those adaptations by making the inevitable discrepancies between past and present climate change less daunting and emphasizing the sustainable negotiations between humans and their surroundings that have been mediated by the changing climate for millennia. It will appeal to students and scholars interested in climate change, sustainability, and water management in the archaeological record.
 
Contributors: Mary Jane Acuña, Wendy Ashmore, Timothy Beach, Jeffrey Brewer, Christopher Carr, Adrian S. Z. Chase, Arlen F. Chase, Diane Z. Chase, Carlos R. Chiriboga, Jennifer Chmilar, Nicholas Dunning, Maurits W. Ertsen, Roland Fletcher, David Friedel, Robert Griffin, Joel D. Gunn, Armando Anaya Hernández, Christian Isendahl, David Lentz, Sheryl Luzzadder-Beach, Dan Penny, Kathryn Reese-Taylor, Michelle Rich, Cynthia Robin, Sylvia Rodríguez, William Saturno, Vernon Scarborough, Payson Sheets, Liwy Grazioso Sierra, Michael Smyth, Sander van der Leeuw, Andrew Wyatt
 
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Thirst for Growth
Water Agencies as Hidden Government in California
Robert Gottlieb
University of Arizona Press, 1991
An overview of the key issues of public accountability and water policy innovation that confront urban and agricultural water agencies throughout the country--notably in California where the prospects for future water development have become especially problematic. Focusing on six agencies in the Southern California region, they offer a series of case studies analyzing the issues of water quality, including groundwater contamination and disinfection by-products; reallocation and transfer of existing supplies; and management programs based on pricing changes, the conjunctive use of surface and groundwater supplies, and increased storage capacity aimed at greater efficiencies in stretching those existing supplies.
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Thirst
Water and Power in the Ancient World
Steven Mithen
Harvard University Press, 2012

Water is an endangered resource, imperiled by population growth, mega-urbanization, and climate change. Scientists project that by 2050, freshwater shortages will affect 75 percent of the global population. Steven Mithen puts our current crisis in historical context by exploring 10,000 years of humankind’s management of water. Thirst offers cautionary tales of civilizations defeated by the challenges of water control, as well as inspirational stories about how technological ingenuity has sustained communities in hostile environments.

As in his acclaimed, genre-defying After the Ice and The Singing Neanderthals, Mithen blends archaeology, current science, and ancient literature to give us a rich new picture of how our ancestors lived. Since the Neolithic Revolution, people have recognized water as a commodity and source of economic power and have manipulated its flow. History abounds with examples of ambitious water management projects and hydraulic engineering—from the Sumerians, whose mastery of canal building and irrigation led to their status as the first civilization, to the Nabataeans, who created a watery paradise in the desert city of Petra, to the Khmer, who built a massive inland sea at Angkor, visible from space.

As we search for modern solutions to today’s water crises, from the American Southwest to China, Mithen also looks for lessons in the past. He suggests that we follow one of the most unheeded pieces of advice to come down from ancient times. In the words of Li Bing, whose waterworks have irrigated the Sichuan Basin since 256 BC, “Work with nature, not against it.”

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A Thirsty Land
The Fight for Water in Texas
By Seamus McGraw
University of Texas Press, 2018

As a changing climate threatens the whole country with deeper droughts and more furious floods that put ever more people and property at risk, Texas has become a bellwether state for water debates. Will there be enough water for everyone? Is there the will to take the steps necessary to defend ourselves against the sea? Is it in the nature of Americans to adapt to nature in flux?

The most comprehensive—and comprehensible—book on contemporary water issues, A Thirsty Land delves deep into the challenges faced not just by Texas but by the nation as a whole, as we struggle to find a way to balance the changing forces of nature with our own ever-expanding needs. Part history, part science, part adventure story, and part travelogue, this book puts a human face on the struggle to master that most precious and capricious of resources, water. Seamus McGraw goes to the taproots, talking to farmers, ranchers, businesspeople, and citizen activists, as well as to politicians and government employees. Their stories provide chilling evidence that Texas—and indeed the nation—is not ready for the next devastating drought, the next catastrophic flood. Ultimately, however, A Thirsty Land delivers hope. This deep dive into one of the most vexing challenges facing Texas and the nation offers glimpses of the way forward in the untapped opportunities that water also presents.

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Three Ways to Be Alien
Travails and Encounters in the Early Modern World
Sanjay Subrahmanyam
Brandeis University Press, 2011
Sanjay Subrahmanyam’s Three Ways to Be Alien draws on the lives and writings of a trio of marginal and liminal figures cast adrift from their traditional moorings into an unknown world. The subjects include the aggrieved and lost Meale, a “Persian” prince of Bijapur (in central India, no less) held hostage by the Portuguese at Goa; English traveler and global schemer Anthony Sherley, whose writings reveal a surprisingly nimble understanding of realpolitik in the emerging world of the early seventeenth century; and Nicolò Manuzzi, an insightful Venetian chronicler of the Mughal Empire in the later seventeenth century who drifted between jobs with the Mughals and various foreign entrepôts, observing all but remaining the eternal outsider. In telling the fascinating story of floating identities in a changing world, Subrahmanyam also succeeds in injecting humanity into global history and proves that biography still plays an important role in contemporary historiography.
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To Quench Our Thirst
The Present and Future Status of Freshwater Resources of the United States
David A. Francko and Robert G. Wetzel
University of Michigan Press, 1983
Freshwater resources underlie all agricultural and industrial processes and are fundamental to our survival. No technological substitutes for fresh water exist. United States society faces acute and chronic water resource crises, analogous to those that have repeatedly contributed to the demise and reduced standards in previous cultures. Corrective measures to reduce inefficient consumption, use, and degradation of existing water supplies can be accomplished with existing technology without losses of real economic productivity.
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Tributary Voices
Literary and Rhetorical Exploration of the Colorado River
Paul A. Formisano
University of Nevada Press, 2022
The Colorado River is in crisis. Persistent drought, climate change, and growing demands from ongoing urbanization threaten this life-source that provides water to more than forty million people in the U.S. and Mexico. Coupled with these challenges are our nation’s deeply rooted beliefs about the region as a frontier, garden, and wilderness that have created competing agendas about the river as something to both exploit and preserve. Over the last century and a half, citizens and experts looked to law, public policy, and science to solve worsening water problems. Yet today’s circumstances demand additional perspectives to foster a more sustainable relationship with the river.

Through literary, rhetorical, and historical analysis of some of the Colorado River’s lesser-known stakeholders, Tributary Voices considers a more comprehensive approach to river management on the eve of the one-hundredth anniversary of the signing of the Colorado River Compact, which governs the allocation of water rights to the seven states in the region. Ranging from the early twentieth century to the present, Tributary Voices examines nature writing, women’s narratives, critiques of dam development, the Latina/o communities’ appeals for river restoration, American Indian authors’ and tribal nations’ claims of water sovereignty, and teachings about environmental stewardship and provident living. This innovative study models an interdisciplinary approach to water governance and reinvigorates our imagination in achieving a more sustainable water ethic.
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Unquenchable
America's Water Crisis and What To Do About It
Robert Glennon
Island Press, 2010
In the middle of the Mojave Desert, Las Vegas casinos use billions of gallons of water for fountains, pirate lagoons, wave machines, and indoor canals. Meanwhile, the town of Orme, Tennessee, must truck in water from Alabama because it has literally run out.
 
Robert Glennon captures the irony—and tragedy—of America’s water crisis in a book that is both frightening and wickedly comical. From manufactured snow for tourists in Atlanta to trillions of gallons of water flushed down the toilet each year, Unquenchable reveals the heady extravagances and everyday inefficiencies that are sucking the nation dry.
 
The looming catastrophe remains hidden as government diverts supplies from one area to another to keep water flowing from the tap. But sooner rather than later, the shell game has to end. And when it does, shortages will threaten not only the environment, but every aspect of American life: we face shuttered power plants and jobless workers, decimated fi sheries and contaminated drinking water.
 
We can’t engineer our way out of the problem, either with traditional fixes or zany schemes to tow icebergs from Alaska. In fact, new demands for water, particularly the enormous supply needed for ethanol and energy production, will only worsen the crisis. America must make hard choices—and Glennon’s answers are fittingly provocative. He proposes market-based solutions that value water as both a commodity and a fundamental human right.
 
One truth runs throughout Unquenchable: only when we recognize water’s worth will we begin to conserve it.
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A Vital Frontier
Water Insurgencies in Europe
Andrea Muehlebach
Duke University Press, 2023
In A Vital Frontier Andrea Muehlebach examines the work of activists across Europe as they organize to preserve water as a commons and public good in the face of privatization. Traversing social, political, legal, and hydrological terrains, Muehlebach situates water as a political fault line at the frontiers of financialization, showing how the seemingly relentless expansion of capital into public utilities is being challenged by an equally relentless and often successful insurgence of political organizing. Drawing on ethnographic research, Muehlebach presents water protests as a vital politics that comprises popular referenda, barricades in the streets, huge demonstrations, the burning of utility bills, and legal disputes over transparency and contracts. As Muehlebach documents, Europe’s water activists articulate their own values of democracy and just price, raising far-reaching political questions about private versus common property and financing, liberal democracy, sovereignty, legality, and collective infrastructural responsibility in the face of financialization and commodification. Muehlebach shows that water-rights activists can successfully resist financial markets by exposing the commodification of water as the theft of life itself.
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Water & Climate/Western U.S.
W Lewis
University Press of Colorado, 2003
Water and Climate in the Western United States highlights the opportunity for and necessity of change in management of water, the West's most crucial resource. As old policies and institutions fail to meet changing demands for and availability of w
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Water and Politics
Clientelism and Reform in Urban Mexico
Veronica Herrera
University of Michigan Press, 2017

Most of the world’s population lives in cities in developing countries, where access to basic public services, such as water, electricity, and health clinics, is either inadequate or sorely missing. Water and Politics shows how politicians benefit politically from manipulating public service provision for electoral gain. In many young democracies, politicians exchange water service for votes or political support, rewarding allies or punishing political enemies. Surprisingly, the political problem of water provision has become more pronounced, as water service represents a valuable political currency in resource-scarce environments.

Water and Politics finds that middle-class and industrial elites play an important role in generating pressure for public service reforms.


 
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Water
Asia's New Battleground
Brahma Chellaney
Georgetown University Press, 2011

Winner of the Asia Society's Bernard Schwartz 2012 Book Award

The battles of yesterday were fought over land. Those of today are over energy. But the battles of tomorrow may be over water. Nowhere is that danger greater than in water-distressed Asia.

Water stress is set to become Asia’s defining crisis of the twenty-first century, creating obstacles to continued rapid economic growth, stoking interstate tensions over shared resources, exacerbating long-time territorial disputes, and imposing further hardships on the poor. Asia is home to many of the world's great rivers and lakes, but its huge population and exploding economic and agricultural demand for water make it the most water-scarce continent on a per capita basis. Many of Asia’s water sources cross national boundaries, and as less and less water is available, international tensions will rise. The potential for conflict is further underscored by China’s unrivaled global status as the source of transboundary river flows to the largest number of countries, ranging from India and Vietnam to Russia and Kazakhstan; yet a fast-rising China has declined to enter into water-sharing or cooperative treaties with these states, even as it taps the resources of international rivers.

Water: Asia’s New Battleground is a pioneering study of Asia’s murky water politics and the relationships between fresh water, peace, and security. In this unique and highly readable book, Brahma Chellaney expertly paints a larger picture of water across Asia, highlights the security implications of resource-linked territorial disputes, and proposes real strategies to avoid conflict and more equitably share Asia’s water resources.

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Water Brings No Harm
Management Knowledge and the Struggle for the Waters of Kilimanjaro
Matthew V. Bender
Ohio University Press, 2019

In Water Brings No Harm, Matthew V. Bender explores the history of community water management on Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. Kilimanjaro’s Chagga-speaking peoples have long managed water by employing diverse knowledge: hydrological, technological, social, cultural, and political. Since the 1850s, they have encountered groups from beyond the mountain—colonial officials, missionaries, settlers, the independent Tanzanian state, development agencies, and climate scientists—who have understood water differently. Drawing on the concept of waterscapes—a term that describes how people “see” water, and how physical water resources intersect with their own beliefs, needs, and expectations—Bender argues that water conflicts should be understood as struggles between competing forms of knowledge.

Water Brings No Harm encourages readers to think about the origins and interpretation of knowledge and development in Africa and the global south. It also speaks to the current global water crisis, proposing a new model for approaching sustainable water development worldwide.

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Water, Community, and the Culture of Owning
Eric T. Freyfogle
University of Utah Press, 2018
In this timely work, Eric Freyfogle probes the long-simmering struggles in the American West to address water-related problem. The big challenge is to resolve water shortages and meet high-valued water needs while also improving river ecosystems. These water conflicts, he suggests, have less to do with our contentious political differences than they do with longstanding core elements of American culture—inherited, shared ways of understanding our place in nature that no longer make good sense. Particularly troublesome are the ways we fragment it, valuing its parts as discrete commodities. Also at play is our cultural inability to think clearly about how best to draw the line between the legitimate use of nature and the abuse of it. 
 
Building on these cultural critiques, Freyfogle takes up the issue of private property rights, highlighting the longstanding flexibility of this key American institution as well as the moral imperative to ensure that property rights aren’t used in ways that harm communities. Outdated understandings about private property, he concludes, have further confused our understanding and made sensible solutions to water problems even harder to imagine. Water-policy reform won’t happen, Freyfogle argues, until we reconsider how we understand nature and take charge of the institution of ownership, recasting it so as to increase the benefits it generates for everyone. If we can do that, solutions to water troubles could prove easier than we expect. The work concludes with an original, sweeping policy proposal to resolve the West’s water shortages and meet environmental needs in ways fair to all.
 
This lecture was presented on March 22, 2017, at the 22nd annual symposium sponsored by the Wallace Stegner Center for Land, Resources and the Environment at the S. J. Quinney College of Law, University of Utah.
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Water, Culture, and Power
Local Struggles In A Global Context
Edited by John M. Donahue and Barbara Rose Johnston
Island Press, 1997

According to some estimates, at least 1.7 billion people do not have an adequate supply of drinking water and as many as 40% of the world's population face chronic shortages. Yet water scarcity is more than a matter of terrain, increased population, and climate. It can also be a byproduct or end result of water management, where the building of dams, canals, and complicated delivery systems provide water for some at the cost of others, and result in short-term gains that wreak long-term ecological havoc. Water scarcity can also be a product of the social systems in which we live.

Water, Culture, and Power presents a series of case studies from around the world that examine the complex culture and power dimensions of water resources and water resource management. Chapters describe highly contested and contentious cases that span the continuum of water management concerns from dam construction and hydroelectric power generation to water quality and potable water systems. Sections examine: impact of water resource development on indigenous peoples varied cultural meanings of water and water resources political process of funding and building water resource projects tensions between culture and power as they structure perceptions and experiences of water scarcity, transforming water from natural resource to social constructio.

Case studies include Lummi nation challenges to water rights in the northwest United States; drinking water quality issues in Oaxaca de Juarez, Mexico; the effects of tourism development in the Bay Islands, Honduras; water scarcity on St. Thomas, the Virgin Islands; the role of water in the Arab-Israeli conflict; and other national and regional situations including those from Zimbabwe, Japan, and Bangladesh.

While places and cases vary, all chapters address the values and meanings associated with water and how changes in power result in changes in both meaning and in patterns of use, access, and control. Water, Culture, and Power provides an important look at water conflicts and crises and is essential reading for students, researchers, and anyone interested in the role of cultural factors as they affect the political economy of natural resource use and control.

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Water Ethics
Foundational Readings for Students and Professionals
Peter G. Brown and Jeremy J. Schmidt
Island Press, 2010
Having manipulated water for irrigation, energy, and burgeoning urban centers, humans are facing the reality that although fresh water is renewable, it is as finite as any other resource. Countries, states, and cities are now scrambling to develop an intelligent, well-informed approach to mitigate the growing global water crisis. Water Ethics is based on the belief that responding to contemporary water problems requires attending to questions of value and culture. How should we capture, store, and distribute water? At what cost? For whom? How do we reconcile water's dual roles as a practical resource and spiritual symbol?  
According to the editors of this collection of foundational essays, questions surrounding water are inherently ethical. Peter Brown and Jeremy Schmidt contend that all approaches to managing water, no matter how grounded in empirical data, involve value judgments and cultural assumptions. Each of the six sections of the book discuses a different approach to thinking about the relationship between water and humanity, from utilitarianism to eco-feminism to religious beliefs, including Islam, Hinduism, and Christianity. Contributors range from Bartholemew, Ecumenical Patriarch of the Orthodox Church to Nobel Laureate economist Elinor Ostrom and water policy expert Sandra Postel. Each section is framed by an original introductory essay written by the editors. 
Water Ethics will help readers understand how various moral perspectives, even when unstated, have guided and will continue to guide water policy around the globe.
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Water Follies
Groundwater Pumping and the Fate of America's Fresh Waters
Robert Glennon
Island Press, 2002

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.

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Water in Texas
An Introduction
By Andrew Sansom
University of Texas Press, 2008

No natural resource issue has greater significance for the future of Texas than water. The state's demand for water for municipal, industrial, agricultural, and recreational uses continues to grow exponentially, while the supply from rivers, lakes, aquifers, and reservoirs is limited. To help Texans manage their water resources today and plan for future needs, one of Texas's top water experts has compiled this authoritative overview of water issues in Texas.

Water in Texas covers all the major themes in water management and conservation:

  • Living with a Limited Resource
  • The Molecule that Moves Mountains
  • A Texas Water Journey
  • The Gulf Shores of Texas
  • Who's Who in Water
  • Texas Water Law: A Blend of Two Cultures
  • Does Texas Have Enough Water?
  • Planning for the Future
  • What's in Your Water?
  • How Much is Water Worth?
  • Water is Our Legacy

Illustrated with color photographs and maps, Water in Texas will be the essential resource for landowners, citizen activists, policymakers, and city planners.

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Water in the Arab World
Perspectives and Prognoses
Peter Rogers
Harvard University Press, 1994

This set of eleven essays addresses the tightening water resource problems of the Arab region’s twenty countries. The authors discuss themes of water conflict and provide detailed looks at four sub-areas: the Maghreb, the Nile countries, the Arabian Peninsula, and the Mashrek.

This century has seen a technological drive to enlarge traditional surface and groundwater supplies and to expand irrigated farming for rapidly growing and progressively more prosperous populations. But now the region is facing absolute limits on its fresh water. Water in the Arab World focuses on today’s need to move toward rationalized new patterns of using water within the national economies, a transition often described as moving from supply to demand management. The change calls for intensified national legislative and planning efforts concerning water, with serious consideration of desalination and conservation, as well as of pricing and market approaches to the allocation of a very constrained supply.

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Water in the Middle East
A Geography of Peace
Edited by Hussein A. Amery and Aaron Wolf
University of Texas Press, 2000

Finding "streams in the desert" has never been more urgent for the peoples of the Middle East. Rapid population growth and a rising standard of living are driving water demand inexorably upward, while the natural supply has not increased since Biblical times. Ensuring a fair and adequate distribution of water in the region is vitally important for building a lasting peace among the nations of the Middle East.

Addressing water needs from a geographical perspective, the contributors to this book analyze and assess the impact of scarce water resources in the Jordan River basin countries and territories (Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, and Syria) as these long-time antagonists work toward peace. After geographical and historical overviews, the authors envision the future-what the water issues may be when Israel and Syria begin negotiating, the "hydro-security" needs of each nation, and the difficulties of planning for uncertainty. Without proposing any one ideal scheme, they discuss the possibilities for cooperative sharing of water resources, while honestly acknowledging the political constraints that may limit such projects. The final essay speaks to the needs of the one party so rarely represented at the negotiating table—the Jordan River itself.

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Water in the West
A High Country News Reader
Char Miller
Oregon State University Press, 2000

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Water is for Fighting Over
and Other Myths about Water in the West
John Fleck
Island Press, 2019
"Illuminating." —New York Times

WIRED's Required Science Reading 2016

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 the coming decades.” Yet similar stories have been appearing for decades and the taps continue to flow. John Fleck argues that the talk of impending doom is not only untrue, but dangerous. When people get scared, they fight for the last drop of water; 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 the serious problems posed by a dwindling Colorado River. But in that time, Fleck has also seen people in the Colorado River Basin 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 record often obscured by the crisis narrative.

In this fresh take on western water, Fleck brings to light the true history of collaboration and examines the bonds currently 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.
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Water Politics in Northern Nevada
A Century of Struggle
Leah J. Wilds
University of Nevada Press, 2010
Nevada’s Newlands Project, completed in 1915, was the first federally subsidized water reclamation scheme in the U.S. Water Politics in Northern Nevada examines its construction and its many unintended consequences, including deterioration of water quality, destruction of vital wetlands, interruption of ecosystems, and pollution of waterways and ground water. The project also resulted in decades of litigation involving water allocation and the abatement of environmental, social, and economic problems. This book traces the long course of negotiation between competing users that resulted in the signing of the Truckee River Operating Agreement in 2008. It illustrates the challenges of sharing a scarce resource to meet diverse needs and of preserving the resource and the environment for future generations.
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Water Politics in Northern Nevada
A Century of Struggle, Second Edition
Leah J. Wilds
University of Nevada Press, 2014
In northwestern Nevada, the waters of the Truckee, Carson, and Walker river systems are fought over by competing interests: agriculture, industry, Native Americans and newer residents, and environmentalists. Much of the conflict was caused by the Newlands Project, completed in 1915, the earliest federal water reclamation scheme. Diverting these waters destroyed vital wetlands, polluted groundwater, nearly annihilated the cui-ui and the Lahontan cutthroat trout, and threatened the existence of Pyramid Lake.

Water Politics in Northern Nevada examines the Newlands Project, its unintended consequences, and decades of litigation over the abatement of these problems and fair allocation of water. Negotiations and federal legislation brought about the Truckee River Operating Agreement in 2008. This revised edition brings the reader up to date on the implementation of the agreement, including ongoing efforts to preserve and enhance Pyramid Lake. The second edition now also includes a discussion of the Walker River basin, following a major project undertaken to address concerns about the health and viability of Walker Lake. The approaches taken to save these two desert treasures, Pyramid Lake and Walker Lake, are offered as models for resolving similar water-resource conflicts in the West.

Leah J. Wilds’s study is crucial reading for students and scholars of water politics and environmental issues, not just in Nevada but throughout the western United States.
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Water Resources
Shimon Anisfeld
Island Press, 2011
In this concise introduction to water resources, Shimon Anisfeld explores the fundamental interactions between humans and water, including drinking, sanitation, irrigation, and power production. The book familiarizes students with the current water crisis and with approaches for managing this essential resource more effectively in a time of rapid environmental and social change. Anisfeld addresses both human and ecological problems, including scarcity, pollution, disease, flooding, conflicts over water, and degradation of aquatic ecosystems. In addition to providing the background necessary to understand each of these problems, the book discusses ways to move towards better management and addresses the key current debates in the water policy field.
 
In the past, water development has often proceeded in a single-sector fashion, with each group of users implementing its own plans without coordination with other groups, resulting in both conflict and inefficiency. Now, Anisfeld writes, the challenge of water management is figuring out how to balance all the different demands for water, from sanitation to energy generation to ecosystem protection.
 
For inquiring students of any level, Water Resources provides a comprehensive one-volume guide to a complex but vital field of study.
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Water Resources
Efficient, Sustainable and Equitable Use
Wolfram Mauser
Haus Publishing, 2008
Water is a vital part of every ecosystem on the planet. It is a prerequisite for the basic function and productive efficiency of life on Earth. Today, approximately a third of the earth's population suffers because of water scarcity, and by the year 2025, this percentage is likely rise to two-thirds. Water Resources: Efficient, Sustainable and Equitable Use shows what conflicts this will entail, and provides a basis for possible solutions.
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Water Security
The Water-Food-Energy-Climate Nexus
The World Economic Forum Water Initiative
Island Press, 2011
The world is on the brink of the greatest crisis it has ever faced: a spiraling lack of fresh water. Groundwater is drying up, even as water demands for food production, for energy, and for manufacturing are surging. Water is already emerging as a headline geopolitical issue—and worsening water security will soon have dire consequences in many parts of the global economic system.
Directed by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon at the 2008 Davos Annual Meeting, the World Economic Forum assembled the world’s foremost group of public, private, non-governmental-organization and academic experts to examine the water crisis issue from all perspectives. The result of their work is this forecast—a stark, non-technical overview of where we will be by 2025 if we take a business-as-usual approach to (mis)managing our water resources. The findings are shocking. Perhaps equally stunning are the potential solutions and the recommendations that the group presents. All are included in this landmark publication.
 
Water Security contains compelling commentary from leading decision-makers, past and present. The commentary is supported by analysis from leading academics of how the world economy will be affected if world leaders cannot agree on solutions. The book suggests how business and politics need to manage the energy-food-water-climate axis as leaders negotiate the details of the climate regime that replace Kyoto Protocols.
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Water Wisdom
Preparing the Groundwork for Cooperative and Sustainable Water Management in the Middle East
Abed Rabbo, Alfred
Rutgers University Press, 2010
Israel and Palestine are, by international criteria, water scarce. As the peace process continues amidst ongoing violence, water remains a political and environmental issue. Thirty leading Palestinian and Israeli activists, water scientists, politicians, and others met and worked together to develop a future vision for the sustainable shared management of water resources that is presented in Water Wisdom. Their essays explore the full range of scientific, political, social, and economic issues related to water use in the region; acknowledge areas of continuing controversy, from access rights to the Mountain Aquifer to utilization of waters from the Jordan River; and identify areas of agreement, disagreement, and options for resolution. Water Wisdom is model for those who believe that water conflict can be an opportunity for cooperation rather than violence.
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Waters of Oregon
A Source Book on Oregon's Water and Water Management
Rick Bastasch
Oregon State University Press, 1998

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Wellsprings
A Natural History of Bottled Spring Waters
Chapelle, Francis H.
Rutgers University Press, 2005
Bottled water is a part of everyday life for millions of Americans. Per capita consumption in the United States now tops fifteen gallons per year with sales over $5 billion in 2002. Even as fuel prices climb, many people are still willing to pay more for a gallon of bottled water than they are for the equivalent in gasoline. At the same time, bottled water has become a symbol of refined taste and a healthy lifestyle. But despite its growing popularity, many people cannot quite put their finger on just why they prefer bottled water to the much less expensive tap variety. Some have a vague notion that bottled water is "healthier," some prefer the convenience and more consistent taste, and others are simply content to follow the trend. The fact is most people know very little about the natural beverage that they drink and enjoy. It is reasonable to wonder, therefore, just what differentiates bottled water from other water? Is it really better or healthier than tap water? Why is it that different brands seem to have subtle variations in taste?

As Francis H. Chapelle reveals in this delightful and informative volume, a complex story of geology, hydrology, and history lies behind every bottle of spring water. The book chronicles the history of the bottled water industry in America from its beginnings in Europe hundreds of years ago to the present day. Subsequent chapters describe the chemical characteristics that make some waters desirable, and provide an overview of the geologic circumstances that produce them. Wellsprings explains how these geologic conditions vary throughout the country, and how this affects the kinds and quality of bottled water that are available. Finally, Chapelle shows how the bottled water industry uses this natural history, together with the perceived health benefits of spring waters, to market their products.

Accessibly written and well illustrated, Wellsprings is both a revealing account and a user’s guide to natural spring waters. Regardless of your drinking preference, this timely exploration will make your next drink of water refreshingly informed.

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Western Water A to Z
The History, Nature, and Culture of a Vanishing Resource
by Robert R. Crifasi
University Press of Colorado, 2022
Western Water A to Z is the first ever field guide to Western water. Reinventing this twentieth-century genre for a twenty-first-century audience, Robert R. Crifasi answers questions about rivers, water projects, the culture of water, the ecosystems water projects have created or destroyed, and the reliance of cities, farms, and industries on this critical resource.
 
Organized as a collection of terms, the book addresses the most salient water issues and provides helpful background information regarding their origins and implications. Photographs serve a vital role in the cultural dialogue on water and stand as an equal partner to the text. Each subject is covered in about one page and is accompanied by one or two striking images from famous photographers like Margaret Bourke-White, Carleton E. Watkins, Arthur Rothstein, William Henry Jackson, and Dorothea Lang as well as Crifasi’s own work. Water often finds itself at the center of our cultural discourse in art, cinema, and literature, which play essential roles in shaping our understanding and experience of Western water. Crifasi also engages personalities that are nearly synonymous with Western water—John Wesley Powell, Elwood Mead, and Floyd Dominy, among others—to show how their lives intertwined with and often influenced the course of water development across the region.
 
Travelers, adventurers, students, and anyone interested in water will find Western Water A to Z a handy and entertaining reference guide.
 
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Western Water Made Simple
; High Country News
Island Press, 1987
A lively account of the most pressing issues facing Western water.
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Where Rivers Meet the Sea
The Political Ecology of Water
Stephanie Kane
Temple University Press, 2012

Where fresh water appears to be abundant and generally accessible, chronic pollution may be relatively ignored as a public issue. Yet there are those whose lives, livelihoods, and traditions are touched directly by the destructive albeit essential relationship between humans and water. 

In her passionate and persuasively argued Where Rivers Meet the Sea, Stephanie Kane compares two cities and nations—Salvador, Brazil and Buenos Aires, Argentina—as she tells the stories of those who organize in the streets, petition the courts, and challenge their governments to implement and enforce existing laws designed to protect springs, lakes, harbors, and rivers.

Illuminating the complex and distinctive cultural forces in the South Atlantic that shape conflicts and collaborations pertaining to particular waterfront settings, Kane shows the dilemmas, inventiveness, and persistence that provide the foundation for environmental and social justice movements writ large.

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