Where the Water Goes: Life and Death Along the Colorado River.
Booklist Reviews 2017 March #1
Although considerably shorter than the nation's longest river, the Missouri, and much narrower in most spots than the mighty Mississippi, the Colorado River nonetheless rivals the other two in the number of states it crosses and the amount of people served by its circuitously flowing waters. Often referred to as "the American Nile" for its multiple uses and the indelible marks it has carved into the southwestern landscape, including the Grand Canyon, the Colorado River captivated New Yorker staff writer Owen (The Conundrum, 2012) enough over the years to inspire this eloquent survey of the waterway's geography and its many impacts on nearby life. Interweaving descriptions from his own explorations of the river on the ground and in the air, Owen offers a wealth of engrossing and often surprising details about the complicated nature of water rights, recreational usage (worth $26 billion a year), and depletion threats from climate change and the fracking industry. 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. Copyright 2017 Booklist Reviews.
LJ Reviews 2016 November #1
The Colorado River supplies water to 36 million people and six million acres of farmland, and its historically lush delta wetlands are now desert. Water issues in the American West are thus complicated, as they're deeply bound up with a human environment. From New Yorker staff writer Owen (Green Metropolis).. Copyright 2016 Library Journal.
LJ Reviews 2017 February #2
New Yorker staff writer Owen (The Conundrum; Green Metropolis) tackles the twisted history of the Colorado River. Water rights drafted in the gold rush era and formalized on miscalculations in the early 20th century are still controversial today. Farmers, businesses, cities, states, and Mexico clash over a water supply constantly decreasing as a result of changes in weather and population. The author includes the exploration and development history of the waterway and biographies of legendary figures such as John Wesley Powell, who led a three-month expedition down the Green and Colorado rivers, and riverboat pilot Nellie Bush. Owen travels the length of the Colorado from the headwaters to the delta (now dry) by plane, by car, and on foot, talking to stakeholders about their issues. This purposefully rambling narrative frames the discussion of water as a vital continental concern.
PW Reviews 2017 February #4
The Colorado River, the main water source of America's desert Southwest, flows sorely vexed to the sea—almost—in this revealing investigation of hydroecology in extremis.