Cadillac Desert: The American West and Its Disappearing Water

Cadillac Desert: The American West and Its Disappearing Water

Fascinating book about a subject that seems boring - the history of water use in the American West. Explains how desert cities like LA, Las Vegas, and Phoenix can exist, and the people and programs that made it possible. Written from a critical view, but the author comes across as reasonable and fair (as opposed to many environmentalist writings). I was especially surprised about how many huge land estates (and the wealth and clout that goes with them) seem to have been built up via Homestead Act fraud. The book has an updated afterword that paints a much brighter picture than most of the book. The age of building uneconomic or dangerous dams to help a few people appears to be over, and the western cities (which continue to grow and need more water) appear to be forming an effective counter-balance to the farming water lobby.