Last Updated on July 29, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 346
Marc Reisner and Sarah Bates, from Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund, constructively analyze water policy in the west and suggest changes in Overtapped Oasis: Reform or Revolution for Western Water (1989).
Reisner’s 1991 work Game Wars: The Undercover Pursuit of Wildlife Poachers investigates the problem of poaching through the experiences of detective Dave Hall, who works the field from Alaska to Louisiana. The book reflects a new interest in the problems of hunting by the public due to growing environmental awareness as well as battles between sportsmen and Indians over Native American treaty rights.
The United States Society on Dams is an organization made up of career dam builders and maintainers. Their website at http://www2. privatei.com/~uscold (March 2001) contains up to date information on U.S. dams.
The Army Corps of Engineers maintains the inventory of U.S. dams at http://crunch.tec.army. mil/nid/webpages/nid.cfm (March 2001) as authorized by the original Water Resources Act and its update in 1996. This site contains maps of all American dams.
Published in 1984, Donald Worster’s examination of water infrastructure in the West, Rivers of Empire: Water, Aridity, and the Growth of the American West, depends on Karl Wittfogel’s notion of ‘‘hydraulic society.’’ According to Worster, dams and diversions helped America realize its dream of harnessing nature.
Last Oasis, published by the Worldwatch Institute in 1992, was written by Reisner’s partner on the film version of his work, Sandra Postel. Her book focuses on the ways in which policy changes and new technologies can improve the water supply and the environment of the West.
Historian Richard White’s The Organic Machine: The Remaking of the Columbia River (1995) is a model work for applying an understanding of ecological regionalism to a historical subject. White investigates the interaction between humans, salmon, and the river over time.
Water resource deficiencies are global. Rivers cross international boundaries and water rich areas are sparsely populated while dense areas are dry. Marq De Villiers brings a global perspective to the water problem in Water: The Fate of Our Most Precious Resource (2000).
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