Where the Water Goes by David Owen
Life and Death Along the Colorado River

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The author chides off-the-grid environmentalists who are willfully blind to the energies they use to sustain their lives and makes a case for city life as environmentally responsible. As Owen amply proves, “water issues are never only about water.”
-Kirkus

Synopsis

A brilliant, eye-opening account of where our water comes from and where it all goes 
 
The Colorado River is a crucial resource for a surprisingly large part of the United States, and every gallon that flows down it is owned or claimed by someone. David Owen traces all that water from the Colorado's headwaters to its parched terminus, once a verdant wetland but now a million-acre desert. He takes readers on an adventure downriver, along a labyrinth of waterways, reservoirs, power plants, farms, fracking sites, ghost towns, and RV parks, to the spot near the U.S.–Mexico border where the river runs dry. 
 
Water problems in the western United States can seem tantalizingly easy to solve: just turn off the fountains at the Bellagio, stop selling hay to China, ban golf, cut down the almond trees, and kill all the lawyers. But a closer look reveals a vast man-made ecosystem that is far more complex and more interesting than the headlines let on.

The story Owen tells in Where the Water Goes is crucial to our future: how a patchwork of engineering marvels, byzantine legal agreements, aging infrastructure, and neighborly cooperation enables life to flourish in the desert, and the disastrous consequences we face when any part of this tenuous system fails.


From the Hardcover edition.
 

About David Owen

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Owen has enjoyed an extensive career in scientific research and journalism. Among his many accomplishments, he has written award-winning features for such prestigious papers as the Sunday Times.
 
Published April 11, 2017 by Riverhead Books. 285 pages
Genres: Nature & Wildlife, Travel, Science & Math, History. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Where the Water Goes
All: 2 | Positive: 2 | Negative: 0

Kirkus

Good
on Jan 31 2017

The author chides off-the-grid environmentalists who are willfully blind to the energies they use to sustain their lives and makes a case for city life as environmentally responsible. As Owen amply proves, “water issues are never only about water.”

Read Full Review of Where the Water Goes: Life an... | See more reviews from Kirkus

NPR

Good
Reviewed by Genevieve Valentine on Apr 11 2017

Owens is effortlessly engaging, informally parceling out information about acre-foot allotments alongside sketches of notable, often dreadful figures in the river's history.

Read Full Review of Where the Water Goes: Life an... | See more reviews from NPR

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