Books Magazine

Book Review: Running Dry: A Journey From Source to Sea Down the Colorado River

Posted on the 23 February 2011 by Kungfujedi @Kungfujedi
Book Review: Running Dry: A Journey From Source to Sea Down the Colorado River
As global climate change continues to change our planet in ways that we are still struggling to understand, one of the things that has become clear is that our conservation and usage of water is going to play a big role in our long term survival. Weather patterns are clearly changing, and as they do, once reliable sources of water are now struggling to keep up with the demands that we put on them. It seems that man has an unquenchable thirst for water and not just for drinking. We use it to irrigate our farms, water our lawns, clean ourselves and our possessions, and oh so much more. What effect is our usage, and climate change, having on our water supply? And what does it mean for our future?
That is the overriding theme of the book Running Dry: A Journey From Source to Sea Down the Colorado River by Jonathan Waterman. The book follows Waterman has he makes a spectacular 1450-mile journey along the length of the Colorado River, spending five months exploring those waters, while examining the effects of prolonged drought, climate change, and over usage by man on the river. What he found was an environmental catastrophe just waiting to happen, as the flow of the river is shrinking dramatically, leaving the lands surrounding it in desperate need of moisture.
Despite the fact that this is a book about water, it starts out awfully dry. Waterman spends the first chapter filling us in on the history of man's use of the river and explaining some of the complex issues that are facing how that usage is governed. It can be a bit of a slow way to start a book, but it pays off later when the actual adventure begins, as having that deep background helps us to understand and relate to what the author encounters once he starts his epic paddling journey.
That journey does become the core of the book however, and when Waterman begins to share his aquatic adventure with us, the story picks up quickly. Running a massive river like the Colorado is no small accomplishment, but he manages to do it and share tales of the people he met along the way and the things he saw in his weeks upon the river. Where Waterman excels in his writing is weaving those tales so deftly with the history and law of water rights management in the Western United States. He gives you just enough of both to keep you knowledgable about the important issues at hand while still enjoying a grand kayaking adventure at the same time.
Ultimately however this isn't an adventure book, but a call to action for those who live along the Colorado and beyond. The river is being altered dramatically, and in some ways irrevocably, and this book hammers that message home in some important ways. While the author remains hopeful that we can save the river, and there by save ourselves, the message is one of urgency, as precious time, and water, is slipping away.
Running Dry is an excellent read for environmentalists and paddlers alike. It is also an eye opener for those of us who were unaware of how several factors (climate change, drought, over usage) were conspiring to destroy one of the great natural wonders of the American West. Read it for the adventure but never lose sight of the overall message. You'll be glad you did on both accounts.

You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • Lipoprotein (a) Used to Be the Forgotten Lipid. Not Anymore.

    Lipoprotein Used Forgotten Lipid. Anymore.

    Lipoprotein (a) - or its abbreviation, Lp(a), pronounced "el-pee-little-a" - is emerging from obscurity. And for good reason. Among them, Bob Harper, the TV... Read more

    4 hours, 58 minutes ago by   Dietdoctor
    DIET & WEIGHT, HEALTH, HEALTHY LIVING, MEDICINE
  • How to Avoid an Identity Crisis.

    Avoid Identity Crisis.

    The secrets of a branding identity review - and when to ask for help. Quick quiz: Which of the following items are part of your company's brand identity? ... Read more

    5 hours, 26 minutes ago by   Marketingtango
    BUSINESS, MARKETING & ADVERTISING
  • Wake Up You Sleepy Head!!

    So how are your mornings?? Is your teen a member of the "I'm getting up!!! Leave me alone club!! Do you dread getting out of bed, knowing that your early mornin... Read more

    5 hours, 34 minutes ago by   Joanigeltman
    FAMILY, PARENTING
  • Rothy’s Shoes Review

    Rothy’s Shoes Review

    A year ago, I purchased my first pair of Rothy's flats. After giving them a real beating through the streets of New York, I wrote my first Rothy's flats... Read more

    5 hours, 56 minutes ago by   Wardrobeoxygen
    FASHION, SELF EXPRESSION, SHOPPING
  • This Week’s Meal Plan: Egg-free Meals!

    Our popular keto meal-plan tool gives you everything you need to succeed on a keto low-carb diet. Meal plans, recipes and shopping lists - no planning... Read more

    6 hours, 10 minutes ago by   Dietdoctor
    DIET & WEIGHT, HEALTH, HEALTHY LIVING, MEDICINE
  • ExWeb Interviews Controversial Mountaineer Denis Urubko

    ExWeb Interviews Controversial Mountaineer Denis Urubko

    If you're looking for some interesting reading today, check out Explorers Web's great interview with climber Denis Urubko, an extremely talented mountaineer... Read more

    6 hours, 56 minutes ago by   Kungfujedi
    OUTDOORS
  • AAU Acceptance And School Fees Registration Procedure – 2018/2019

    The Ambrose Alli University (AAU) Acceptance fee payment and registration procedure for newly admitted candidates in the 2018/2019 academic session have been... Read more

    7 hours, 35 minutes ago by   Naijapary
    SOCIETY, A-CLASSER

Magazines