Suggested Reading

Newly updated, this timely history of the struggle to discover and control water in the American West is a tale of rivers diverted and damned, political corruption and intrigue, billion-dollar battles over water rights, and economic and ecological disaster. Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award.Newly updated, this timely history of the struggle to discover and control water in the American West is a tale of rivers diverted and damned, political corruption and intrigue, billion-dollar battles over water rights, and economic and ecological disaster. Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award.

 

Cadillac Desert: The American West and Its Disappearing Water, Marc Reisner, Viking Penguin,  1986 Rivers of Empire

Newly updated, this timely history of the struggle to discover and control water in the American West is a tale of rivers diverted and damned, political corruption and intrigue, billion-dollar battles over water rights, and economic and ecological disaster. Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award.

Water: The Epic Struggle for Wealth, Power, and Civilization by Steven Solomon 

In this massive book, journalist Steven Solomon both traces the history of Earth’s civilizations through their uses of water and issues warnings about the effects of water scarcity on contemporary societies.

Crossing the Next Meridian, Land Water and the Future of the West, Charles F. Wilkinson, Island Press, 1992

Showing the history of laws regarding Western development, a legal expert argues that land-use laws have been become outmoded and must be radically rethought to help the environment, as he searches for a compromise between unhampered development and total preservation.

Water Wars:  Drought, Flood, Folly and the Politics of Thirst

by Diane Raines Ward

 Every day, we hear alarming news about droughts, pollution, population growth, and climate change—which threaten to make water, even more than oil, the cause of war within our lifetime. Diane Raines Ward reaches beyond the headlines to illuminate our most vexing problems and tells the stories of those working to solve them: hydrologists, politicians, engineers, and everyday people. Based on ten years of research spanning five continents, Water Wars offers fresh insight into a subject to which our fate is inextricably bound.

 

Beyond the Hundredth Meridian: John Wesley Powell and the Second Opening of the  West,  Wallace Stegner,1954 

John Wesley Powell fought in the Civil War and it cost him an arm. But it didn't stop him from exploring the American West.  Here Wallace Stegner, a Pulitzer Prize-winner, gives us a thrilling account of Powell's struggle against western geography and Washington politics. We witness the successes and frustrations of Powell's distinguished career, and appreciate his unparalleled understanding of the West.

The Monkey Wrench Gang (P.S.)

by Edward Abbey

 

River Horse: A Voyage Across America, William Least Heat-Moon, 1999  The Last Waterhole,

The acclaimed, best-selling author of Blue Highways and PrairyEarth chronicles his one-of-a-kind journey through America's waterways from Atlantic to Pacific. Brimming with history, drama, hilarity, and wisdom, River Horse ranks among the greatest American travelogues. In 1995, Heat-Moon set out on his most ambitious trip yet, from New York harbor to the breakwater of Astoria, Oregon, almost entirely by water. Aboard his little launch Nikawa ("river horse" in Osage), Heat-Moon logged more than five thousand miles, completing a trek no American had ever managed, yet following in the wake of our greatest explorers, from Henry Hudson to Lewis and Clark.