Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.
Dead Pool: Lake Powell, Global Warming, and the Future of Water in the West Hardcover – January 5, 2009
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
"A solid primer on the history of use of Colorado River water and the science of
climate change."--"Science (Aaas)"
"A must read for Colorado River buffs, as well as anyone who wants a glimpse of what lies ahead for water."--"Earth Magazine"
"A suspense thriller, a history . . . and an informed warning. . . . Deserves to be read now, before we make even more mistakes."--"High Country News"
Top Customer Reviews
Powell extols early Colorado River explorer and anti-urban founder of the U.S. Geological Survey, John Wesley Powell, which Lake Powell is named after. But author James Powell never tells us if he is related.
Powell is a master story teller and educator. His book will teach the average reader much about the water system in the Southwest. He starts his book with an apocalyptic story of near dam collapse of the Glen Canyon Dam due to too much water in 1983; and ends his book with the story of how civilization in the Southwestern U.S., like the Indians in Chaco Canyon in the 12th century, will end soon due to too little water due to global warming resulting in dead and over-silted dams.
For proof positive Powell has a graphic photo on the cover of his book showing the present-day bathtub ring on Lake Powell; way, way above the water line. How could he be wrong? Look at the picture. Run the numbers and look at the data as Powell has done.
But the gnawing question after reading Powell's apocalyptic book remains: is he right; and if so, how right?
One of the centerpieces of Powell's argument is a bar graph on page 164 which shows the 10-Year Average Annual Flow at the northerly point of the Colorado River dam system from 1896 to 2007 measured in acre feet (an acre foot of water is one foot high of water spread over an acre of land; able to support about two urban families for a year).Read more ›
The final section looks to the future with predictions of water shortages, mainly due to global warming. This where the book falls short, not necessarily
on the global warming subject, but on what happens next. And the author doesn't really address that. He only gives a sentence or two to the obvious outcome, and that is the cities buying out the farmers' water interest. With something like 70% of the water going to mostly low value farm crops, when shortages get severe the economic and political power of the cities will re-direct the water from crops to people. And an examination of practical water
conservation is also omitted. These are the untold stories that are missing.
Well, short of that, we have James Powell writing "Dead Pool," a worthy successor to both that and Donald Worster's "Rivers of Empire."
That said, Powell goes beyond those two books in some ways.
First, he not only has the global warming science that Reisner didn't, he works with this issue more than Worster.
He also addresses development issues and water-grubbing in the modern West a bit more directly than they did. And, he addresses the future of what a "dead pool" on either Lake Powell or Lake Mead will mean for city water, irrigation water, and hydropower in the Southwest.
While Powell doesn't tell Las Vegas or Phoenix they should prepare for Armageddon, he pretty much details that's what's facing Phoenix ... an increasingly polluted smog, with Colorado River run-off chemicals in addition to hydrocarbons, nighttime temperatures sometimes staying in triple digits, and no more cheap electricity.
Someone like Ed Abbey, or an Ed Abbey fan, would love this book.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The first part was a review of history that many Glen Canyon aficionados already know, but the author does a great job of tying that together with current drought realities and the... Read morePublished 9 months ago by Canyonjo
Book condition was fine. I must have made a mistake, I meant to order a hardcover.Published 16 months ago by enm39
This book is very interesting, especially if you love the canyon country of SE Utah. Although Lake Powell is a beautiful place I have always been sad at the loss of Glen Canyon and... Read morePublished 17 months ago by starstruck
If you care about the future of the southwest, you should read this book. Phoenix and Las Vegas are looking doom in the face if the water fails, and the author makes a compelling... Read morePublished 22 months ago by Girder and Panel
Clearly, the end of the Southwest, as we know it, is at hand. Greed and bureaucracy partnered to pull the wagon of folly to it's ultimate conclusion - the near future abandonment... Read morePublished on February 5, 2013 by Percy Dovetonsils
This is good writing and good reading,too. Alas it seems that anyone who can read the tea leaves as well as the scientific evidence of the looming droughts must have some liberal,... Read morePublished on January 26, 2011 by Amazon Customer