The American West and Its Disappearing Water Essay

...Start of the The American West and Its Disappearing Water Essay...

The author outlined the geography of the semi-arid region of the West. According to him, although the West have rivers and large basins of water, the erratic nature of the landscape as well as the orientation of water flows cannot sustain large numbers of people. The convex nature of the river system allows only a minute flow of water into potential settlements and farms. People living in California, Arizona, and Idaho faced perennial shortages of water. These perennial shortages are due perhaps to the relative orientation of the settlements along river banks. Usually, the flow of water was downward, rather than upwards. The implication: there is relatively shortage of water to sustain irrigation-based agriculture. One can easily see the geographical distribution of people in the West prior to the 1900s.

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There was little regard for the welfare of the environment. History of the Colorado River Basin . Then came the history of the Colorado River Basin. It deals primarily with one fateful man-made structure, the Colorado River Basin. For many environmentalists, the project was powerful ‘sin against nature. ’ For the economic liberals in both government and the chambers of commerce, the project was an approximation of the ideal. The real effect though of the project could be best understood on the individual level. Because of the Colorado River Basin, agriculture in the West was heavily subsidized by the government. This created a general distortion in the prices of agricultural goods.

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It can also be said that most of the author’s arguments lack verifiable evidences. Historical evidences cannot be translated into verifiable evidences because of the static nature of the former. Multiple references to sources are a necessity in verifying historical claims. Conclusion Much of the author’s arguments need more authentic verification. The historical proofs provided by the author were either devoid of associated empirical facts or simply lacking in credibility. For example, the term ‘political motivation’ has multiple meanings in the book, but the author failed to clarify it. Cadillac Desert: The American West and Its Disappearing Water. New York: Penguin Books.

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