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Running Dry: A Journey from Source to Sea Down the Colorado River


Running Dry: A Journey from Source to Sea Down the Colorado River Cover

ISBN13: 9781426205057
ISBN10: 1426205058
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In 1869, John Wesley Powell led a small party down the Green and Colorado Rivers in a bold attempt to explore the Grand Canyon for the first time. After their monumental expedition, they told of raging rapids, constant danger, and breathtaking natural beauty of the American landscape at its most pristine.

Jon Waterman combines sheer adventure and environmental calamity in this trailblazing cautionary account of his 2008 trip down the overtaxed, drying Colorado. Dammed and tunneled, forced into countless canals, trapped in reservoirs and harnessed for electricity, what once was untamed and free is now humbled, parched, and so yoked to human purposes that in most years it trickles away 100 miles from its oceanic destination.

Waterman writes with informal immediacy in this eye-witness account of the many demands on the Colorado, from irrigating 3.5 million acres of farmland to watering the lawns of Los Angeles. He shows how our profligacy and inexorable climate change spark political conflict, and how we can avert this onrushing ecological crisis. As he follows Powell afloat and afoot, Waterman reaches out both to adventure travelers and to scientists, conservationists, environmentalists, and anyone interested in the fragile interplay between nature and humans.


An eye-witness account of the many demands on the Colorado, from irrigating 3.5 million acres of farmland to watering the lawns of Los Angeles.

About the Author

Jonathan Waterman is the author of nine books, has made four television films, and works as a freelance author and filmmaker. In 2004, his writing about the Arctic won the prestigious National Endowment of the Arts Literary Fellowship.

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rsbovard, September 25, 2010 (view all comments by rsbovard)
Jonathan Waterman's new book, "Running Dry", published by the National Geographic Society, is an incredibly timely and important work. I have been down the Grand Canyon twice and feel that I am relatively well informed on environmental issues, but this work has really shocked and challenged me to think about what we are doing in America to our rivers, waterways, and lakes. We take for granted that our conservation corp and federal resource management groups know what they are doing and are committed to the long term preservation of our wilderness. It is clear however that this is not always the case. There are many powerful, vested interests involved that make the politics of water rights & water quality an issue in which all of us need to participate.

In my own community, the University of Minnesota recently tried to censor a film "Troubled Waters: A Mississippi River Story", presumably under pressure from the agricultural industry worried about public relations. Truth has many faces, and we need to be vigilant and involved if we are not be misled and hornswoggled in the issue of environmental water conservation.

Jon has been an environmental steward his entire life. He has now written 10 books; virtually all engage the reader to value and protect our wilderness areas. His early service as a Denali park ranger led to his writing "Surviving Denali". His more recent books reach from the Sea of Cortez ("Kayaking the Vermillion Sea") to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and Northwest Passage ("Where Mountains are Nameless"). The National Geographic has a pretty good track record of supporting the best and the brightest scientists and journalists to present valuable information to their readership. Jon's research expedition for this book traverses the entire length of the Colorado River from its origins in the Rockies to the sea. "Running Dry" offers a valuable picture of an amazing and vital waterway in crisis. It is an impassioned and eloquent call to action that hopefully we will heed.
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Product Details

Waterman, Jonathan
National Geographic Society
Environmental Conservation & Protection - General
Ecosystems & Habitats - Rivers
Natural Resources
Environmental Conservation & Protection
Colorado River (Colo.-Mexico)
Waterman, Jonathan - Travel -
Nature Studies-Biology
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
9.28x6.60x1.18 in. 1.46 lbs.

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Americana » National Parks and Waterways
History and Social Science » Americana » Rivers Lakes Waterways and Mountains
Science and Mathematics » Environmental Studies » Environment
Science and Mathematics » Nature Studies » Biology
Travel » Travel Writing » General

Running Dry: A Journey from Source to Sea Down the Colorado River Used Hardcover
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Product details 304 pages National Geographic Society - English 9781426205057 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , An eye-witness account of the many demands on the Colorado, from irrigating 3.5 million acres of farmland to watering the lawns of Los Angeles.
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