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The history of water in California is key to understanding the State One of the glorious facts about California is that it contains such geographic diversity lush rainforests, plentiful snow capped mountains, vast desserts, a beautiful coastline and a giant inland valley perfect for agriculture But that diversity means that too much water fall some places and too little water falls other places Hence the state needs man made help getting the water to the places that need it the most from The history of water in California is key to understanding the State One of the glorious facts about California is that it contains such geographic diversity lush rainforests, plentiful snow capped mountains, vast desserts, a beautiful coastline and a giant inland valley perfect for agriculture But that diversity means that too much water fall some places and too little water falls other places Hence the state needs man made help getting the water to the places that need it the most from the places where its needed less.I found the early chapters on aboriginal and pre USA water use and laws very helpful Sections on how urban California stole from rural and wild parts of the state combined history, law and culture which help to explain where we are today But as the book gathers steam towards the present the water wars multiple and make the stories hard to follow.Certain themes emerge big agribusiness and big cities win most of the water wars but in some cases such as Mono Lake and to a lesser extent the Salton Sea, savvy public relations work to the benefit of the underdogs Safe drinking water becomesproblematic because of the growing population and the successive droughts raisechallenges to local and state government to restrict water use by profligate urbanites.I would have enjoyed a cultural discussion about how a place so defined by its struggles over water use but so much in denial about it ends up expressing this tension in the broader culture and society The Great Thirst is a comprehensive history of California and its need for water Hundley proves the adage that to understand the present one must know the past While daunting in its size this is an important read for any Californian thinking about how to balance the needs of the state s varied water users, protecting water quality and the environment. The classic book to read to understand water use in California The author provides an interesting and well researched view of the water practices of the various people who have lived in the state over the past several hundred years As general history, most persons will enjoy this book, despite its rather specific focus My only complaint is that the last section of the book, which was very heavy on policy issues of the 1980 s and 1990 s, became a bit of a slog. This is by far the best and most comprehensive book detailing California water history Coming in at over 700 pages, Hundley begins with water systems and management for indigenous California communities, then the Californios, the territorial state, and finally, contemporary California Like many western states, California s water resources and water management systems are notoriously complex often layering confusing and counterintuitive values around water propertization with a fragmented, mult This is by far the best and most comprehensive book detailing California water history Coming in at over 700 pages, Hundley begins with water systems and management for indigenous California communities, then the Californios, the territorial state, and finally, contemporary California Like many western states, California s water resources and water management systems are notoriously complex often layering confusing and counterintuitive values around water propertization with a fragmented, multilayered, and overlapping regulatory system Pour on millions of dollars of water projects, and the system seems entirely labyrinthine Hundley s book breaks down these concepts and places them in a thematic and chronological context While reading the book cover to cover has to be a labor of love, for the layreader this is an amazing reference You can easily pick up a particular section without having to slog through the whole thing, and the book is well indexed and organized For water geeks, this is a must have Reads like a mystery novel even when you already know what happened A must read for anyone who lives in California. |DOWNLOAD KINDLE ☪ The Great Thirst: Californians and Water: A History ♶ The story of the great thirst is brought up to date in this revised edition of Norris Hundley s outstanding history, with additional photographs and incisive descriptions of the major water policy issues facing California now accelerating urbanization of farmland and open spaces, persisting despoliation of water supplies, and demands for equity in water allocation for an exploding population People the world over confront these problems, and Hundley examines them with clarity and eloquence in the unruly laboratory of CaliforniaThe obsession with water has shaped California to a remarkable extent, literally as well as politically and culturally Hundley tells how aboriginal Americans and then early Spanish and Mexican immigrants contrived to use and share the available water and how American settlers, arriving in ever increasing numbers after the Gold Rush, transformed California into the home of the nation s preeminent water seekers The desire to use, profit from, manipulate, and control water drives the people and events in this fascinating narrative until, by the end of the twentieth century, a large, colorful cast of characters and communities has wheeled and dealed, built, diverted, and connived its way to an entirely different statewide waterscape