Where the Water Goes: Life and Death Along the Colorado River

By David Owen
Read by Fred Sanders

9.43 Hours 04/11/2017 unabridged
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    ISBN: 9781524749668

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An eye-opening account of where our water comes from and where it all goes. The Colorado River is an essential resource for a surprisingly large part of the United States, and every gallon that flows down it is owned or claimed by someone. 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. He takes readers on an adventure downriver, along a labyrinth of waterways, reservoirs, power plants, farms, fracking sites, ghost towns, and RV parks, to the spot near the U.S.–Mexico border where the river runs dry.  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. But a closer look reveals a vast man-made ecosystem that is far more complex and more interesting than the headlines let on. 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.

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Summary

Summary

An eye-opening account of where our water comes from and where it all goes.

The Colorado River is an essential resource for a surprisingly large part of the United States, and every gallon that flows down it is owned or claimed by someone. 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. He takes readers on an adventure downriver, along a labyrinth of waterways, reservoirs, power plants, farms, fracking sites, ghost towns, and RV parks, to the spot near the U.S.–Mexico border where the river runs dry. 

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. But a closer look reveals a vast man-made ecosystem that is far more complex and more interesting than the headlines let on.

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.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“Through his reportage, Owen teases out the contradictions of the complex issues surrounding the Colorado…Rather than simply bemoan environmental degradation, Owen presents a deeper, more useful analysis of the subtle interplay between natural and human needs.” Publishers Weekly
“Narrator Fred Sanders adds gravitas to Owen’s narrative. His crisp baritone could make a telephone directory seem majestic. His pacing suits the engaging combination of water law doctrine, hydrology, anthropology, and personal vignettes that Owen offers to help his listeners understand ‘the law of the river’ and the river itself.” AudioFile

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: David Owen

David Owen is a staff writer for the New Yorker and a contributing editor to Golf Digest. He is the author of several books, including The First National Bank of Dad, The Chosen One, My Usual Game, and The Making of the Masters. He and his family live in Northwest Connecticut.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download
Category: Nonfiction/Science
Runtime: 9.43
Audience: Adult
Language: English