I will not provide a review of the book, not because I consider Cynthia a friend but because both my wife Mary Frances and I reviewed drafts of a number of chapters.
However I will encourage you to read the book. What I find especially refreshing is her call for a national water ethic and its emphasis on stewardship and intergenerational equity (Gees, I don't sound like a hydrogeologist anymore, but that's fine).
She also does not shy away from discussions of conflicts of interest when it comes to water issues. I cannot recall reading much about those in other tomes. Amen!
So read her book.
I confess that Blue Revolution provided a double bonus: not only a great read, but it afforded me the rediscovery of Charles F. Wilkinson's "Lords of Yesterday", a term coined in his book, Crossing the Next Meridian: Land, Water, and the Future of the West. Wilkinson attacks five 'lords' for thwarting water sustainability in the US West.
Barnett calls out the Top Five Lords (p. 112):
1) The Hardrock Mining Law of 1872, which dedicates more than half of all public lands to mining as as the preferred use.
2) Public rangeland practices that devastate western ranges and rivers;
3) Forest policy that promotes logging as the dominant use of our national forests;
4) Mega-dams and other wanter-development practices that provided 'cheap power' at a cost we could not fathom until now.
5) Prior-appropriation doctrine, with its 'first in time, first in right; and 'use it (beneficially) or lose it' tenets that worked fine when we were promoting development and settlement of the West but have now mired us in the anachronistic world of 100 or so years ago.
I am going to reread Wilkinson's book; it's still on my shelf. You should too, after you read Blue Revolution.
And tomorrow I'll post the Bay-Delta report at 1 PM EDT.
I will leave you with a few choice words from Jared Diamond, the author of Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed, in which he examined why some societies succeeded and some failed (Easter Island, early Norse in Greenland, et al.). At a lecture in Albuquerque a few years ago he was asked if there was some common thread that linked those societies that failed. His reply:
"There was a failure to reexamine and change their core values in the face of change."