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Introduction to Water in California

David Carle (Author)

Available worldwide

Paperback, 352 pages
ISBN: 9780520287907
December 2015
$29.95, £25.00
Other Formats Available:
This thoroughly engaging, concise book tells the story of California's most precious resource, tracing the journey of water in the state from the atmosphere to the snowpack to our faucets and foods. Along the way, we learn much about California itself as the book describes its rivers, lakes, wetlands, dams, and aqueducts and discusses the role of water in agriculture, the environment, and politics. Essential reading in a state facing the future with an overextended water supply, this fascinating book shows that, for all Californians, every drop counts.

New to this updated edition:

* Additional maps, figures, and photos

* Expanded coverage of potential impacts to precipitation, snowpack, and water supply from climate change

* Updated information about the struggle for water management and potential solutions

* New content about sustainable groundwater use and regulation, desalination, water recycling, stormwater capture, and current proposals for water storage and diversion

*Additional table summarizing water sources for 360 California cities and towns
Introduction—Water Web: Connected Californians

Chapter 1. Tapping into a Planetary Cycle
A Great Water Wheel
The Vital Molecule
“Normal” Weather: Anything but “Average”

Chapter 2. California Water Landscape
Pristine Waterscape
Hydrologic Regions

Chapter 3. The Distribution System
Expanding Watersheds
The State Water Project
The Central Valley Project
Colorado River Delivery Systems
The Los Angeles Aqueduct
The Hetch Hetchy Aqueduct
The Mokelumne Aqueduct
The North Bay

Chapter 4. Challenges to California Water Management
Climate Change and the Water Cycle
Extinction Is Forever
A Thirsty Garden
Asking Too Much of the Colorado River and the Salton Sea
Out of Sight, Out of Control
Can You Drink the Water?
The Problem Is Us

Chapter 5. Meeting the Challenges: California’s Water Future
California Water Law and the Public Trust
The Delta, a Tunnel Vision, and a Water Bond
Recycle and Reuse: Localizing Water
Sustainable Groundwater
The Debate over Dams
Transfers: Water as a Commodity
Clean Water
Ecosystem Restoration
Lemonade from Lemons: Is Desalination Viable?
Will There Be Enough Water?

Acronyms and Abbreviations
Historical Timeline
Agencies and Organizations
Photo Credits
Author Biography
David Carle is a former park ranger and the author of California Natural History Guides about water, fire, air, and soil (UC Press), as well as other books in water history and management, including Drowning the Dream: California’s Water Choices at the Millennium and Water and the California Dream. His most recent UC Press book is Traveling the 38th Parallel: A Water Line around the World (2013).
"Bottom Line: You cannot hope to fix a "broken" system without some basic understanding of its history, function and opportunities for change. I give Carle's book FIVE STARS for providing that information."—David Zetland
“We can only hope that, someday, such a guide is available for every state in the West.”—High Country News

"This book provides a valuable overview of the problems facing California, but it has implications for the rest of the country. Highly recommended."—Choice

“It’s a comprehensive look at a very complicated subject and a fascinating journey about water.”—Mammoth Times

“The type of book you would hope to see in every welcome basket for every lawmaker coming to Sacramento for the first time. Anyone living in or interested in California should reach such a book.”—Journal Of The American Water Resources Association

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