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Where The Water Goes: Life And Death Along…
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Where The Water Goes: Life And Death Along The Colorado River

– tekijä: David Owen

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
1285169,172 (3.64)2
The Colorado River is a crucial resource for a surprisingly large part of the United States, and every gallon that flows down it is owned or claimed by someone. David Owen traces all that water from the Colorado's headwaters to its parched terminus, once a verdant wetland but now a million-acre desert. He takes readers on an adventure downriver, along a labyrinth of waterways, reservoirs, power plants, farms, fracking sites, ghost towns, and RV parks, to the spot near the U.S.-Mexico border where the river runs dry. Water problems in the western United States can seem tantalizingly easy to solve- just turn off the fountains at the Bellagio, stop selling hay to China, ban golf, cut down the almond trees, and kill all the lawyers. But a closer look reveals a vast man-made ecosystem that is far more complex and more interesting than the headlines let on. The story Owen tells in Where the Water Goesis crucial to our future- how a patchwork of engineering marvels, byzantine legal agreements, aging infrastructure, and neighborly cooperation enables life to flourish in the desert, and the disastrous consequences we face when any part of this tenuous system fails. Praise for David Owen's Green Metropolis-… (lisätietoja)
Jäsen:kwjr
Teoksen nimi:Where The Water Goes: Life And Death Along The Colorado River
Kirjailijat:David Owen
Info:Publisher Unknown
Kokoelmat:Aion lukea
Arvio (tähdet):
Avainsanoja:NPR

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Where the Water Goes: Life and Death Along the Colorado River (tekijä: David Owen)

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näyttää 5/5
I listened to this on audiobook. It was genuinely interesting to hear about the way the river is used, especially since I get my water from it. I just wish the author would have resisted the urge to push an agenda and become politically partisan. It is clear that water problems will have to be solved with bipartisan cooperation and the book would have been better had the author given detailed descriptions of the problems and discussed the various proposed solutions and their issues, but not been so blatantly obvious about his political opinions, since that made me less open to his ideas. ( )
  ComposingComposer | Jan 12, 2021 |
A balanced and informative look at one of the most economically and ecologically critical rivers in the Western world. I'm not an engineer, hydrologist, or anyone of that sort, but Kohn managed to make infrastructure wildly interesting. An important, timely, scary, and surprisingly entertaining book about a complicated topic that impacts all of us in one way or another. I'd highly recommend it for everyone who drinks water, but especially to those living west of the Mississippi or those involved in water/property law, land development, agriculture, environmental nonprofits, and/or federal reclamation budgets and policy in the nation's capital. ( )
  dele2451 | Mar 26, 2018 |
Since I’m a resident of Tucson, this was more 'Where the Water Comes From' for me, at least through to the chapter about the Central Arizona Project, the canal that brings water from the Colorado to just south of here. And up to that point, it was fascinating, especially because of the history and anecdotes the author included in this overview of the Colorado River Basin. I have to admit it was dry reading after that until the last chapter, ‘What is to be Done?’, which points out the complexity of managing this very vital resource. 3 1/2 stars. ( )
  wandaly | Jan 9, 2018 |
An interesting look at water issues, particularly as they relate to the Colorado River and the Southwest US. Most of the book feels like more of a travelogue than an in-depth look at the environment, science, or cultural history. And all those elements are combined with Owen's travels and stories of the people he met or places he saw while researching the book, although it sometimes felt a little tedious to me. The strongest part is probably the final chapter, "What is to be done?", where he looks at the various issues, such as the mind-boggling "Over-Allocation" of actual water, "Desalination," "Agriculture," etc. And I especially appreciated that Owen isn't blind to the many sides to every story or argument. He is especially good at pointing out the flaws in many seemingly simple and common-sense arguments, as well as illustrating the complexity of every idea or solution. Maybe not as focused on the river itself as I'd have liked it to be, but an interesting book nonetheless. (And I REALLY LOVE the cover, which reminded me of the Road Runner and Wiley Coyote cartoons that were my favorite as a child.) ( )
  J.Green | Dec 6, 2017 |
Where The Water Goes is ostensibly a driving tour of the Colorado River, from its tributary headwaters to Baja in Mexico where it is supposed to end. Owen drives and describes the scenery and the various characters he meets (sometimes with his family), and fills in the history and significance of the location. But where it gets really interesting is in the legislatures and the courts, where the water has a completely different status.

There is real water and there is paper water. There are negotiated agreements and there is The Law Of The River, which seems to be whatever the legislator or lawyer talking wants it to be. And you don’t want to bring The Law Of The River to court. The book is most informative when paper water properties rear their heads. It’s not logical, intuitive, direct, simple, or efficient. And no one dares tamper with it lest the whole house of cards come tumbling down.

In Arizona, new developments can be built and sold without service or access to water. Owners have to go pick it up and bring it back as needed. In Colorado, the water that runs off your roof is not yours and you have no right to retain it. At the state level, there is a race to consume the allocation, lest it be reduced and grabbed by another state. And by the time the river gets to Mexico, there is literally nothing left. In the mean time, agriculture still flood-irrigates, and cities keep expanding. Deserts don’t mean no one can live or farm; they just have to divert more water. Incredibly, the locals argue about exporting agricultural products as if they were exporting the water in them. It’s all very Alice in Wonderland.

The whole arrangement was originally built on faulty data; the river system cannot produce what it says on paper. The big reservoirs are so low they constantly need to retain all the water they can, leaving little or nothing trickling down the system. Canals and other diversions pervert nature. Dams cause more problems than they solve. Worst of all is the first come first served arrangement, whereby those who have the oldest permits get all the water they’re allowed before newer participants can take any. In perpetuity. This is how the West was built.

None of this is news and Owen cites numerous predecessors in trying to explain it (but not rationalize it. No one can do that). Owen ends by making recommendations he knows full well no one will ever consider. It’s a remarkable trip.

David Wineberg ( )
  DavidWineberg | Jan 14, 2017 |
näyttää 5/5
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Englanninkielinen Wikipedia

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The Colorado River is a crucial resource for a surprisingly large part of the United States, and every gallon that flows down it is owned or claimed by someone. David Owen traces all that water from the Colorado's headwaters to its parched terminus, once a verdant wetland but now a million-acre desert. He takes readers on an adventure downriver, along a labyrinth of waterways, reservoirs, power plants, farms, fracking sites, ghost towns, and RV parks, to the spot near the U.S.-Mexico border where the river runs dry. Water problems in the western United States can seem tantalizingly easy to solve- just turn off the fountains at the Bellagio, stop selling hay to China, ban golf, cut down the almond trees, and kill all the lawyers. But a closer look reveals a vast man-made ecosystem that is far more complex and more interesting than the headlines let on. The story Owen tells in Where the Water Goesis crucial to our future- how a patchwork of engineering marvels, byzantine legal agreements, aging infrastructure, and neighborly cooperation enables life to flourish in the desert, and the disastrous consequences we face when any part of this tenuous system fails. Praise for David Owen's Green Metropolis-

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