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Water and the California Dream

Historic Choices for Shaping the Future

List Price: $16.95

May 10, 2016 | Paperback | 6 x 9, 240 pages | ISBN 9781619026179
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In the last one hundred years, imported water has transformed the environment of the Golden State and its quality of life, with land ownership patterns and real estate boosterism dramatically altering both urban and rural communities. The key to this transformation has been expanded access to water from the Eastern Sierra, the Colorado River, and Northern California rivers. “Whoever brings the water, brings the people,” wrote engineer William Mulholland, under whose leadership the process of growth through irrigation began. Now, using first–person voices of Californians to reveal the resulting changes, author David Carle concludes that it may be time to stop drowning the California dream of the good life with imported water.

Using oral histories, contemporary newspaper articles, and autobiographies, Carle explores the historic changes in California, showing how imported water has shaped the pattern of population growth in the state. Because water choices remain the primary tool for shaping California’s future, Carle also argues that it is possible to improve both the state’s damaged environment and the quality of life if Californians will step out of this historic pattern and embrace limited water supplies as a fact of life in this naturally dry region.

About David Carle

David Carle grew up in Orange County, California, received his bachelors degree at U.C. Davis in Wildlife and Fisheries Biology and a masters degree from C.S.U. Sacramento in Recreation and Parks Administration. He was a park ranger in California State Parks for 27 years; including the Mendocino Coast, Hearst Castle, the Auburn State Recreation Area (in the gold country of the Sierra foothills), and the State Indian Museum in Sacramento. From 1982 through 2000, at the Mono Lake Tufa State Reserve, he 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. He taught biology and natural history courses at Cerro Coso Community College, the Eastern Sierra College Center in Mammoth Lakes. He is presently retired and serving as historian for the Mono Basin Historical Society. Carle has authored or co-authored 12 nonfiction books and 2 novels.

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