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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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 CityHow 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
Today's Choice (1): Who Needs Farms?
Today's Choice (2): The EnvironmentHas Mono Lake Really Been Saved?
Visualizing TomorrowJust Say No to Water?