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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Army Corps of Engineers, in the competition to transform the West.

What I most appreciated was how Reisner turns the term “welfare state” on its head, and illustrates how some of the most useless and most expensive publicly-funded infrastructure projects of all time are supported by the people who tout less government intervention as the key to a viable economy.

We just ruin things, because people are the worst. Parts of the narrative talk about the ongoing battle between the Army Corps of Engineers and the Bureau of Reclamation. Never before had so little economic acdillac been proposed at such exorbitant cost. Luckily, if you give nature a small change, it will find a way to thrive. On the one hand, the fertile soil of the Central Valley is one area of the West where massive publicly-funded irrigation projects actually do make sense, and as a result the region is one of the most productive in the world.

Greed, Manifest Destiny, and wishful thinking based on greed This book, right down to its dying cactus on its cover, emphasizes the looming water crisis. From xesert dams and a few monstrous dam blow-outs – one just a mile further up the canyon from where I live to the earliest irrigation projects in the modern West Mormons – the only group of western settlers willing to work together on something – to the current and ancient problem of salt, it’s all here, and Resiner’s wry style keeps you going.


Cadillac Desert – Wikipedia

At the time decision makers were of the opinion “new power and water was worth the price”. Refresh and try again. Stonehenge was built between 4, and 5, years ago, and it was a durable design.

Inan urban-dominated Congress finally addressed the enormous thirst of California agriculture — which was, in effect, creating an artificial drought for nature and cities alike — with a water reform law. Sweeping saga of the history of the water wars in the American southwest. August 3, at 8: Politicians and businessmen alike made their ascendance to power on the backs of regional dams, which explains why the proliferation of dams was such an integral and important phenomena of the 20th century.

So, the west became a socialist utopia, dominated by militant free market conservatives who adored massive government spending in their region, and howled about it everywhere else. I’m happy I read what I did, for this was a topic on which I was wholly ignorant. 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. This project was viewed by some as the “hydrologic antichrist”. I’m not naive, and I absolutely loathe the phrase ‘ignorance is bliss.

Cadillac Desert

Aug 02, Bishop rated it really liked it. Even from the 80s. The additional water deliveries from new major dam or canal projects are typically small and expensive.


Drought hit inand the head of the water department frantically urged the city to stop the growth immediately, even if this required killing everyone in the Cadillav of Commerce.

Cadillac Desert by Marc Reisner | : Books

Rivals in Crime Chapter Seven: It’s entirely deserved, mind you, but the sheer and ceaseless inundation of greed, corruption, and ignorance depicted in the politicians and leaders behind the American southwest’s water policy became too hard to swallow. In he published a discussion paper for the American Farmland Trust on water policy and farmland protection.

Mar 11, Billy added it Shelves: It will be hard to know how to change major water infrastructure for a warmer, more variable, and perhaps drier climate. Main crops in regions with little rainfall are corn, wheat, soybeans, cotton and hay.

While Reisner does spend some time on the environmental consequences of America’s century of dam building and large-scale crop irrigation, what really gets his blood pumping is the corruption and fiscal stupidity of it all. In China, the reservoir for the Sanmexia Dam was filled to the brim with silt injust four years after it was built.

Overall, if I swallowed my aforementioned misgivings, this was a fascinating and engaging history of water in the West.