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Still Valid In A Drier West: "Cadillac Desert"

Picture of a drought affected landscape
CSIRO
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There is much that is wonderful about living in the West.  Lack of humidity, for example. 

But that's an indicator of a basic fact of life: there's not much precipitation in this part of the country, at least south of Eugene, and so not much water for all the people and nature. 

Marc Reisner covered the topic in  great depth in his monumental work Cadillac Desert, first published in 1986.  He covered the history: dams and diversions, rivers and reclamation, and the underlying issue: too much demand for too little water. 

Drought has only made the book truer over time.  Lawrie Mott, Reisner's widow, is a scientist and the writer of additional material for later editions of the book.  She joins us to outline the ongoing struggle over water.  
 

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Geoffrey Riley is a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism and has hosted the Jefferson Exchange on JPR since 2009. He's been a broadcaster in the Rogue Valley for more than 35 years, working in both television and radio.
John Baxter's history at JPR reaches back three decades.  John was the JPR program director who was the architect of "the split" when JPR grew from a single program stream to three separate streams. We coaxed him out of retirement and he's now a co-producer of the Jefferson Exchange.