Plugged by no fewer than twenty-five dams, the Colorado is the world's most regulated river, providing most of the water supply of Las Vegas, Tucson, and San Diego, and much of the power and water of Los Angeles and Phoenix. If the river ceased flowing, it would soon be necessary to abandon many of the largest cities in the West. The Colorado is indeed a river of life, which makes it all the more tragic that when it approaches the sea, it has been reduced to a toxic trickle, its delta dry and deserted. In a blend of history, science, and personal observation, acclaimed author Wade Davis tells the story of America's Nile, from its legendary history to the human intervention that has left it transformed and near exhaustion. The story of the Colorado River is the human quest for progress and its inevitable if unintended effects - and an opportunity to learn from past mistakes and foster the rebirth of America's most iconic waterway. A beautifully told story of historical adventure and natural beauty, "River Notes" is a fascinating journey down the river and through mankind's complicated and destructive relationship with one of its greatest natural resources.
Wade Davis is Explorer-in-Residence at the National Geographic Society. An ethnographer, photographer, filmmaker, and writer, he is the author of the 2011 bestseller Into the Silence, Light at the Edge of the World, One River, the international bestseller The Serpent and the Rainbow, Shadows in the Sun, and other books. His articles have appeared in Outside, Conde Nast Traveler, National Geographic, Scientific American, and many other publications.