Drowning the Dream: California's Water Choices at the Millennium

Drowning the Dream: California's Water Choices at the Millennium

by David Carle


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Imported water has transformed the Golden State's environment and quality of life. In the last one hundred years, land ownership patterns and real estate boosterism have dramatically altered both urban and rural communities across the entire state. The key has been water from the Eastern Sierra, the Colorado River and, finally, Northern California rivers. Whoever brings the water, brings the people wrote engineer William Mulholland, whose leadership began the process of water irrigating unlimited growth. Using first-person voices of Californians to reveal the resulting changes, Carle concludes that the new millennium may be the time to stop drowning the California dream.

With extensive use of oral histories, contemporary newspaper articles, and autobiographies, Carle provides a rich exploration of the historic change in California, showing that imported water has shaped the pattern of population growth in the state. Water choices remain the primary tool, he claims, for shaping California's future. The state's damaged environment and reduced quality of life can be corrected if Californians will step out of their historic pattern and embrace limited water supplies as a fact of life in this naturally dry region.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780275967192
Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
Publication date: 02/28/2000
Pages: 256
Product dimensions: 6.14(w) x 9.21(h) x 0.63(d)

About the Author

DAVID CARLE teaches biology at Cerro Coso Community College, Eastern Sierra College Center. He has worked as a state park ranger at Hearst Castle, in the gold country of the Sierra foothills, and was unit ranger in charge of the State Indian Museum in Sacramento. Since 1982, at the Mono Lake Tufa State Reserve, he has shared the unit ranger position with his wife, participating in the long effort to protect that Eastern Sierra inland sea from the effects of stream diversions to Los Angeles.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Changes and Choices

Frontierland to Fantasyland

In Grizzly Days

Save the Cows… Horses Off the Cliffs

Gold Fever: Sick Forefathers

Statehood, State Hoods and State Laws

R&R Railroads and Real Estate, Citrus and Sunshine

Water Choices (1)—Eastern Sierra Water

Melodrama on the Right Side of California

Life in the Big City—How Did They Get Away With It?

Did They See Where They Were Going?

What If the Los Angeles Aqueduct Had Never Been Built?

Water Choices (2)—Colorado River Water

"And Lest Our City Shrivel and Die…"

Boom! Postwar, Postaqueduct Arrivals

People Fumes: Just Don't Inhale

Water Choices (3)—Northern California Water

The Northern End of the Pipe

Too Much Is Not Enough

Sprawling Gridlock


Today's Choice (1): Who Needs Farms?

Today's Choice (2): The Environment—Has Mono Lake Really Been Saved?

Visualizing Tomorrow—Just Say No to Water?



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