I have a friend who likes to quip that they could listen to Morgan Freeman read the phone book, and I think Owen has a similar quality to his writing - I'd gladly read his work on otherwise very mundane topics. David Owen is an extraordinarily gifted writer. David Owen is an extraordinarily gifted writer. Senate and various governmental agencies. Pugnacious and contrarian, the book has a lot of fun at the expense of sentimental pastoralists, high-minded environmentalists and rich people trying to buy their way into higher green consciousness with expensive 'eco-friendly' add-ons photovoltaic panels on their suburban McMansions, say. There are no easy answers. And the decisions made by politicians to protect or exploit areas have a much more powerful effect on air quality, etc.
There was excessive nostalgia for the days of American pioneerism and a weird macho undertone bragging about swimming the Rio Grande and backpacking the Rockies in his younger days that I found off-putting. It reads like a Mary Roach book. I knew, moving here, that I was stressing out an arid, sere environment that is wholly dependent on snow pack and abundant precipitation, but it is home now. As Owen shows, the Colorado River is a great, sad, terrifying, possibly hopeful example of the pervasive, permanent mark people are making on the planet. Learning more about a topic we think we already know and having new perspectives is a valuable part of reading non-fiction, and this one has lots of this around the Colorado River.
Rather than tracking the history of the river from discovery to today, or addressing it topically, he takes a geosocial approach. Whether you read for fun, or edification, this is a gem. So, Where the Water Goes has won me over. Especially when considering the sheer number of people in this country and this world , and the subsequent lack of livable space coupled with not nearly enough conservable space. As a child, I visited the wet meadow in Rocky Mountain National Park where the Colorado begins as a tiny stream just west of the Continental Divide. Certain water uses may be discouraged, but it results in an increase in water uses that don't allow for greater water reuse.
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. But David Owen fills in so many gaps that I feel that I've been to water reeducation camp. This compact allocates use among 7 states in the Colorado River Basin, and is based on what we now know to be unusually high water and rainfall levels. When people water their lawns or golf courses or crops, really a significant amount of that water eventually goes back into the watershed and rivers. The story Owen tells in Where the Water Goes is 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. But a closer look reveals a vast man-made ecosystem that is far more complex and more interesting than the headlines let on. Her work has appeared in New City, Horse Network, Brevity, and elsewhere.
But it is a good headache, one that makes you a more informed person. It's a seriously disgusting and irresponsible amount of water. With water shortages looming across the globe, Owen's work provides invaluable lessons on the rewards and pitfalls involved in managing an essential natural resource. He takes readers on an adventure downriver, along a labyrinth of waterways, reservoirs, power plants, farms,. It's hard to convey this through examples, but Owen's writing is also very fun to read.
The manmade flood is still a far cry from the water amounts that used to flow into the delta. It's mentioned briefly in passing, but not much information. Rather than simply bemoan environmental degradation, Owen presents a deeper, more useful analysis of the subtle interplay between natural and human needs. Waterfowl filled the skies in such abundance that daylight dimmed as processions of wings passed before the sun. Owen begins his journey by flying over the headwaters of the Colorado with Jennifer Pitt, then a researcher with the Environmental Defense Fund. Whether you read for fun, or edification, this is a gem. But a closer look reveals a vast man-made ecosystem that is far more complex and more interesting than the headlines let on.
The use of the river is based on an almost 100 year old document, The Colorado River Compact. The first part was especially interesting to me as he discusses lots of places very near to where I live and it made me feel a little famous. There was a fascinating discussion of Las Vegas and the many ways they are extremely water-savvy. Owen examines possible solutions to the many challenges facing the Colorado and its over-allocated water: from cloud-seeding to desalinization; from prioritizing agricultural use of water to managing population growth. If you are interested, you can read the information about Privacy and Cookies Policy. Overall, it is a very recent review of where the water gets used and what experiments have been successful in helping wildlife and plants along the river's basin.
In his provocative new book, he turns conventional wisdom on its head and takes a clear-eyed look at what 'green' might truly mean in a nation of 300 million and counting in the 21st century. 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. As a rural Westerner who writes about his home and stomping grounds, and who shares his writing for free on his blog, I always find it disheartening that the East Coast-based publishing industry habitually elevates Eastern urban writers as experts on rural Western subjects. David Owen traces all that water from the Colorado's headwaters to its parched terminus, once a verdant wetland but now a million-acre d An eye-opening account of where our water comes from and where it all goes. But a closer look reveals a vast man-made ecosystem that is far more complex and more interesting than the headlines let on. What happens in Phoenix matters in Salt Lake. Water law is seemingly esoteric, but of course every single person in the world depends on water.
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. It's a restless travelogue of long-term human impact on the natural world, and how politics and economics have as much to do with redirecting rivers as any canal. Many damns exist along its range along with the lakes created by these dams. As an environmentalist and former staff member of the Natural Resource Defense Council, Reisner dedicated his life to conservation, and protecting and reviving ecosystem integrity. But with its historical eddies, policy asides, and trips to the Hoover Dam, at heart Where the Water Goes is about water as a function of time, and a reminder that we''re running out of both. From the air, Owen and Pitt trace the series of dams, reservoirs and tunnels that gather and store water from the Colorado River watershed, then send it over the Continental Divide to slake the thirst of fast-growing Front Range cities from Fort Collins to Denver. Eventually we travel through all the tunnels that made the trip possible ninety years ago.