Fluid Arguments: Five Centuries of Western Water Conflict

Fluid Arguments: Five Centuries of Western Water Conflict

by Char Miller (Editor)

Paperback(Reprint)

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Overview

Water—or the lack of it—has shaped the contours of the American West and continues to dominate the region's development. From the incursions of the Spanish conquistadores to the dams of the New Deal era, humans have sought water in these arid lands as the key to survival and success. And as the West becomes more urbanized, water is an issue as never before. This book sets contemporary and often bitter debates over water in their historical contexts by examining some of the most contentious issues that have confronted the region over five centuries.

Seventeen contributors—representing history, geography, ethnography, political science, law, and urban studies—provide an interdisciplinary perspective on the many dimensions of water in the West: Spanish colonial water law, Native American water rights, agricultural concerns, and dam building. A concluding essay looks toward the future by examining the impact of cities on water and of water marketing on the western economy.

As farmers and ranchers from Kansas to California compete for water with powerful urban economies, the West will continue to be reshaped by this scarce and precious resource. Fluid Arguments clearly shows that many of the current disputes over water take place without a real appreciation for the long history of the debate. By shedding new light on how water allocation is established—and who controls it—this book makes a vital contribution to our understanding of water and growth in the region.

CONTENTS

Divining the Past: An Introduction / Char Miller

Part 1. Land and Water on New Spain’s Frontiers
1. "Only Fit for Raising Stock": Spanish and Mexican Land and Water Rights in the Tamaulipan Cession / Jesús F. de la Teja
2. Water, the Gila River Pimas, and the Arrival of the Spanish / Shelly C. Dudley
3. "Between This River and That": Establishing Water Rights in the Chama Basin of New Mexico / Sandra K. Mathews-Lamb

Part 2. The Native American Struggle for Water
4. Maggot Creek and Other Tales: Kiowa Identity and Water, 1870-1920 / Bonnie Lynn-Sherow
5. The Dilemmas of Indian Water Policy, 1887-1928 / Donald J. Pisani
6. First in Time: Tribal Reserved Water Rights and General Adjudications in New Mexico / Alan S. Newell
7. Winters Comes Home to Roost / Daniel McCool

Part 3. Agricultural Conundrums
8. Water, Sun, and Cattle: The Chisholm Trail as an Ephemeral Ecosystem / James E. Sherow
9. Private Irrigation in Colorado’s Grand Valley / Brad F. Raley
10. A Rio Grande "Brew": Agriculture, Industry, and Water Quality in the Lower Rio Grande Valley / John P. Tiefenbacher
11. Specialization and Diversification in the Agricultural System of Southwestern Kansas, 1887-1980 / Thomas C. Schafer
12. John Wesley Powell Was Right: Resizing the Ogallala High Plains / John Opie

Part 4. Dam those Waters!
13. Private Initiative, Public Works: Ed Fletcher, the Santa Fe Railway, and Phoenix’s Cave Creek Flood Control Dam / Donald C. Jackson
14. The Changing Fortunes of the Big Dam Era in the American West / Mark Harvey
15. Building Dams and Damning People in the Texas-Mexico Border Region: Mexico’s El Cuchillo Dam Project / Raúl M. Sánchez

Part 5. The Coming Fight
16. Water and the Western Service Economy: A New Challenge / Hal K. Rothman

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780816501366
Publisher: University of Arizona Press
Publication date: 12/05/2014
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 354
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Char Miller is chair and professor of history at Trinity University and editor of Water in the West: A High Country News Reader.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrationsix
List of Tablesxi
Acknowledgmentsxiii
Divining the Past: An Introductionxv
Part 1Land and Water on New Spain's Frontiers
1"Only Fit for Raising Stock": Spanish and Mexican Land and Water Rights in the Tamaulipan Cession3
2Water, the Gila River Pimas, and the Arrival of the Spanish27
3"Between This River and That": Establishing Water Rights in the Chama Basin of New Mexico40
Part 2The Native American Struggle for Water
4Maggot Creek and Other Tales: Kiowa Identity and Water, 1870-192065
5The Dilemmas of Indian Water Policy, 1887-192878
6First in Time: Tribal Reserved Water Rights and General Adjudications in New Mexico95
7Winters Comes Home to Roost120
Part 3Agricultural Conundrums
8Water, Sun, and Cattle: The Chisholm Trail as an Ephemeral Ecosystem141
9Private Irrigation in Colorado's Grand Valley156
10A Rio Grande "Brew": Agriculture, Industry, and Water Quality in the Lower Rio Grande Valley178
11Specialization and Diversification in the Agricultural System of Southwestern Kansas, 1887-1980201
12John Wesley Powell Was Right: Resizing the Ogallala High Plains223
Part 4Dam those Waters!
13Private Initiative, Public Works: Ed Fletcher, the Santa Fe Railway, and Phoenix's Cave Creek Flood Control Dam251
14The Changing Fortunes of the Big Dam Era in the American West276
15Building Dams and Damning People in the Texas-Mexico Border Region: Mexico's El Cuchillo Dam Project303
Part 5The Coming Fight
16Water and the Western Service Economy: A New Challenge331
About the Authors339
Index343

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