The food each of us consumes per day represents an investment of 4,500 gallons of water, according to the California Farm Bureau. In this densely populated state where it rains only six months out of the year, where does all that water come from? 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 Introduction to Water in California 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 already overextended water supply, this fascinating book shows that, for all Californians, every drop counts. A new preface on recent water issues brings Introduction to Water in California up to the minute.
- Features 130 color photographs and 26 color maps
- Includes a table, "Where Does Your Water Come From?," that answers the question for 315 California cities and towns
- Provides up-to-date information on water quality in California, covering such timely topics as Giardia, groundwater contamination, fluoride, and the bottled-water phenomenon
A book in the Californians and Their Environment subseries, dedicated to understanding human influences on the state's ecology and natural resources.
"Lavishly illustrated with maps and color photos, the book is a sort of field guide to the state's watersheds, canals, reservoirs, groundwater basins, legendary water contamination problems and colossal endangered species issues, and to the ways all these parts intermesh with-or against-each other [...] We can only hope that, someday, such a guide is available for every state in the West, perhaps handed out like voter's guides, or Gideon's Bibles."
– Matt Jenkins, High Country News
"The type of book you would hope to see in every welcome basket for every lawmaker coming to Sacramento for the first time. California, with its diversity in climate, natural water wonders, and massive expenditures on water based infrastructures deserves such a book. Anyone living in or interested in California should reach such a book."
– E. George Robison, Journal of the American Water Resources Association
"Get a library card and check this guide out for a week or two, and then make it a part of the natural history library at your home. It's a comprehensive look at a very complicated subject and a fascinating journey about water."
– Christina Reed, Mammoth Times
"This new title in UC Press's California Natural History Guide series does an admirable job of explaining California's natural waterscapes, what we've done to them, and where we go from here [...] David Carle makes what could have been a forbiddingly technical subject accessible to anyone with an interest in water policy and politics."
– Joe Eaton, Terrain Magazine
"This book engages readers at a personal level."
– Donald Pisani, author of Water and American Government
"Water is the foundation upon which California's ecosystems and economic vitality rise [...] This is a must read for anyone living in California, whether they are students, politicians, farmers, environmental activists, or corporate executives."
– Arthur Guy Baggett, Jr., Chair, California State Water Resources Control Board
"A comprehensive, readable natural history guide to an extremely complicated subject. It interweaves the historical, human, and technological factors with the ecological and environmental realities."
– Pam Lloyd, former Chair of the California Regional Water Quality Control Board, S.F. Bay Region
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