Cadillac Desert has ratings and reviews. In Cadillac Desert Marc Reisner writes of the earliest settlers, lured by the promise of paradise, and of the . “The definitive work on the West’s water crisis.” –Newsweek The story of the American West is the story of a relentless quest for a precious resource. Marc Reisner has written a tome on water rights in the American West with his book “Cadillac Desert: The American West and its disappearing Read full.

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Legions burst into tears.

Notify me of new comments via email. Mark does not discuss the removal of dams to dseert extent, but he does discuss the tremendous problem of silt or sediment collected behind the dams and in reservoirs. The cheapest sites with the most capacity to deliver water already have water projects.

But, just like the natural gas pipelines that bring heat geisner the bone chilling cold of Resiner’s native Minnesota, or the levies that are supposed to keep New Orleans dry, or the gasoline that makes homes affordable to the urban sprawl not just in Los Angeles, but in the DC metro, the New York area, Atlanta, Houston, etc.

Cadillac desert – PBS summary

I have been trying to get my hands on a copy of the documentary Cadillac Desert. Some scholars [ who? July 9, at 8: The keg was empty, and the party ended. The collapse of the Teton Dam in was deadly – and could have been completely avoided had the Bureau not built the dam in an incredibly unsafe area. Just not free to eat wild salmon. This is before all of this activity unleashed the events of the Bush era.

When the Owens Valley dried up, local ranchers seized aqueduct gates and dynamited the pipeline repeatedly. As I write, the west coast is experiencing a cadilpac drought. Indeed, if energy literally were not a concern, the aqueducts wouldn’t flow from the Sierra to Southern California, they would flow from the coast, where one would find numerous desalination plants, inland to the deserts.

The challenge will be developing water systems which are appropriate to the direction that society chooses to take, a direction which can only be discerned through political dialog. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: The fishing industry would have been eliminated; mass wilderness areas and wildlife would have been submerged in the quest for moving water to the USA.


While David Brower and the Sierra Club make cameo appearances in Reisner’s story, the conservation reisher is not elaborated as much as could be.

Simply, there is not enough water for the many competing demands–from native Americans to water promised Mexico to water in the American West. Reisner focuses more narrowly on North America in his portrayal of the personalities and agencies e.

Cadillac Desert: The American West and Its Disappearing Water

The Edmonston station pushes water uphill 1, feet mover the Tehachapi Mountains, using fourteen 80, horsepower pumps. Reisner’s book documents the growth of the Bureau of Reclamation, responsible for Hoover, Shasta, and Grand Coulee dams, and its bitter rivalry with the U.

At times, his tone borders on the sarcastic as if he were saying, you are not going to believe exactly how incredibly stupid this idea was. What if the climate changed? Droughts can last for decades, or longer. This often happens after a century of irrigation. And yet I reached a point that I just couldn’t pick it up and read anymore. I could ramble for days, but the truth is, you should just read this massive and massively depressing book, because I guarantee there’s an awful lot of history in here that you never studied in school, especially if you grew up in or near some of the places most affected by these water projects.

Or to learn how otherwise iconic stars like Woody Guthrie were hired to propagandize dams for the government in the name of Progress. They all point out that despite the inevitability of water problems in the dry Western US, substantial prosperity and relative ecological success can occur with thoughtful and cooperative management. These farmers were about the most conservative faction in what may be the most politically conservative of all the fifty states.

Can individual states and their congressional representatives focus on the greater good and welfare of their resner beyond the next election cycle?

Reisner’s whole book is basically saying the same thing about the entire Southwestern United States. Many reservoirs will be filled fadillac less than a century. Greed drove many of the policies and projects in the 20th century American West. Federal and state budgets no longer have substantial funds available for large water infrastructure projects anyway.


Many deserrt built during the Depression, to put the unemployed to work. Per capita urban water use continues to fall substantially, and can probably continue to do so for several decades.

Cadillac Desert

That was a slow read. He leaves you wondering which of the multitude of dams existing today are stressed to their limits. The city finished the Owens Valley project inwhich brought in water from miles away kmand included 53 miles 85 km of tunnels. Army Corps of Reisnwrand their struggle to remake the American West.

Typhoon Nina blasted Asia in the summer of Interesting read, especially if fesert got a month to devote to it. But saving Marble Canyon did not stop the flood of people drawn to new homes and new jobs in Arizona, leading to President Lyndon Johnson’s authorization of the Central Arizona Project, the most expensive waterworks in Bureau history. The final cyclopean one, which occurs at the A. The dam did not fail that day. For the documentary, see Cadillac Desert film.

Does it make sense for the government to pay large farming corporations in the form of cheap water while it pays other farmers in the east not to grow certain things? Today, with double-digit growth in Phoenix, there’s just not enough water to meet insatiable demand.

As we move beyond Peak Oil, and energy production goes downhill, industrial civilization will wither. A huge portion of our federal deficit was first run up as a result of water projects, and the economic realities of most of these projects haven’t gotten better since. caddillac

It is a tale of rivers diverted and dammed, of political corruption and intrigue, of billion-dollar battles over water rights, of ecologic and economic disaster.

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