The Colorado River: Flowing through Conflict
text by Jonathan Waterman, photography by Peter McBride
Supplying vital water to more than 30 million Americans living in the arid West, the Colorado River is one of the most diverted, dammed, and heavily litigated rivers in the world. In full-color photo essay format, The Colorado River: Flowing Through Conflict, follows the river’s epic 1,450- mile journey from its headwaters high in the Colorado Rockies to its dried-up delta touching the Sea of Cortez. With striking photography and authoritative prose, Peter McBride and Jonathan Waterman illuminate the historical, geographical, and environmental significance of this life-giving river.
When photographer Peter McBride was a boy, he used to wonder how long it would take a drop of water to reach the sea from the ditches that he tended on his ranch in Old Snowmass, Colorado. “The snowmelt that still irrigates our family ranch,” he writes in the Preface, “will never make the sea unless current water practices change.”
Teaming up with writer Johnathan Waterman, they took an extended journey, in small planes and in boats and on foot, repeatedly traveling the river’s 1,450-mile length, along with its many diversions, to fully understand the issues of diminishing water in a arid landscape. Through adventure, curiosity, and in-depth reportage, The Colorado River: Flowing Through Conflict examines America’s most iconic river, with supports thirty million people and two million acres of agriculture in seven states and northern Mexico.