"To fully understand this river and its past, one must examine
many separate pieces of history scattered throughout two
nations--seven states within the United States and two within
Mexico--and sort through a large amount of scientific data. One
needs to be part hydrologist, geologist, economist, sociologist,
anthropologist, and historian to fully understand the entire story.
Despite this river's narrow size and meager flow, its tale is very
-From the conclusion
The Colorado River is a vital resource to urban and agricultural
communities across the Southwest, providing water to 30 million
people. Contested Waters tells the river's story-a story
of conquest, control, division, and depletion.
Beginning in prehistory and continuing into the present day,
Contested Waters focuses on three important and often
overlooked aspects of the river's use: the role of western water
law in its over-allocation, the complexity of power relationships
surrounding the river, and the concept of sustainable use and how
it has been either ignored or applied in recent times. It is
organized in two parts, the first addresses the chronological
history of the river and long-term issues, while the second
examines in more detail four specific topics: metropolitan
perceptions, American Indian water rights, US-Mexico relations over
the river, and water marketing issues. Creating a complete picture
of the evolution of this crucial yet over-utilized resource, this
comprehensive summary will fascinate anyone interested in the
Colorado River or the environmental history of the Southwest.
Subjects: Biological Sciences, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, Environmental Science, History
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