320 pages, 5 b/w photos, 4 b/w maps
Why has the American South – a place with abundant rainfall – become embroiled in intrastate wars over water? Why did unpredictable flooding come to characterize southern waterways, and how did a region that seemed so rich in this all-important resource become derailed by drought and the regional squabbling that has tormented the arid American West? To answer these questions, policy expert and historian Christopher J. Manganiello moves beyond the well-known accounts of flooding in the Mississippi Valley and irrigation in the West to reveal the contested history of southern water. From the New South to the Sun Belt eras, private corporations, public utilities, and political actors made a region-defining trade-off: The South would have cheap energy, but it would be accompanied by persistent water insecurity. Manganiello's compelling environmental history recounts stories of the people and institutions that shaped this exchange and reveals how the use of water and power in the South has been challenged by competition, customers, constituents, and above all, nature itself.
"Christopher J. Manganiello's first-rate scholarship focuses much-needed attention on the crucial role of water in the environmental history and development of the South. Southern Water, Southern Power fills a critical void in our understanding of the relationship between southerners and their water resources."
– Timothy Silver, Appalachian State University
"Southern Water, Southern Power greatly enriches the historiography of southern industrial development. The story Manganiello has chosen to tell is important, and he's produced a fine piece of historical scholarship on this vastly understudied topic."
– Kari Frederickson, University of Alabama
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Christopher J. Manganiello is an environmental historian and Policy Director at Georgia River Network.