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Dam Nation: How Water Shaped the West and Will Determine Its Future
Synopses & Reviews
In the scramble to claim water rights in the West during the fevered days of early emigration and expansion, running out of water was rarely a concern, and the dam building fever that transformed the West in the 19th and 20th centuries created a map of the region that may be unsustainable. Throughout the arid American West, metropolitan areas such as Los Angeles, Phoenix, Las Vegas and Denver need water. These cities are growing, but water supplies are dwindling. Scientists agree that the West is heating up and drying out, leading to future water shortages that will pose a challenge to existing laws.
Dam Nation looks first to the past, to the stories of the California gold rush and the earliest attempts by men to shape the landscape and tame it, takes us to the “Great American Desert” and the settlement of the west under the theory that "rain follows the plow," and then takes on the ongoing legal and moral battles in the West. Author Stephen Grace, is a novelist, a storyteller, and the author of several non-fiction books on Colorado. He weaves the facts into a compelling narrative that informs, entertains, and tells an important story.
A compelling book about the water crisis facing the West, grounded in history and important for residents as well as readers nationwide. This narrative weaves together the stories of human folly and grandiose endeavor that shaped the states and reveal the background of the critical economic and political issue that is how water is used and misused today.
A vivid look at the water crisis facing the West, grounded in history and compelling for residents
of the region as well as readers nationwide.
During the frenzied days of early emigration and expansion in the West, running out of water was rarely a concern, and the dam-building fever that transformed the map of the region in the twentieth century filled empty spaces with cities and farms. Today, metropolitan areas such as Los Angeles, Phoenix, Las Vegas, and Denver are desperate with thirst. These cities are growing explosively, but water supplies are dwindling. Scientists agree that the region is heating up and drying out, leading to future water shortages that will expose the startling fragility of civilization in the western United States.
Dam Nation looks first to the past, to the stories of explorers venturing into a forbidding wilderness, gold miners and farmers devising arcane laws to govern water use, and pioneers struggling to settle the "Great American Desert." Next, it delves into an era of technological mastery that fulfilled the nation's dream of taming wild rivers, and finally it tackles the on-going legal and moral battles over water in the West. Author Stephen Grace weaves the facts into a compelling narrative that informs, entertains, and tells an important story.
About the Author
Stephen Grace's employment has ranged from deckhand on Mississippi riverboats to neuropsychological research assistant to whitewater rafting guide. He has led snowboarding adventures for at-risk youth and a volunteer project in China for college students. A resident of Colorado, he divides his free time between Denver's museums and its mountains.
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