Downriver: Into the Future of Water in the West

Heather Hansman (Author)

Product Details

$25.00  $23.00
University of Chicago Press
Publish Date
March 19, 2019
6.3 X 9.1 X 1.0 inches | 0.95 pounds

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About the Author

Heather Hansman is an award-winning journalist whose work has appeared in Outside, California Sunday, Smithsonian, and many others. After a decade of raft guiding across the United States, she lives in Seattle.


"Hansman is willing to interrogate her own assumptions, to speak to people with differing views, and to allow western water issues to become more complicated, not less, as she moves down the river. She explores the sticky parts of western water policy, just as she explore the less-loved sections of the Green."--Melissa Sevigny, author of Mythical River: Chasing the Mirage of New Water in the American Southwest
"Hansman delivers a worthy updating of a core library containing such works as Marc Reisner's Cadillac Desert and Philip Fradkin's A River No More. An insightful look into the unsustainability of western waterways."--Kirkus
"In an energizing mix of travelogue and investigative journalism, Hansman, a raft guide and environmental reporter, provides a straightforward elucidation of the mind-bogglingly complicated subject of water rights in the American West. . . . Travel enthusiasts will appreciate Hansman's descriptions of her rafting exploits, love of wildlife, and admiration for the power of water, while policy advocates will mull over her thought-provoking insight into the West's water conundrum."--Publishers Weekly
"[Downriver] is a blend of personal narrative, water policy research and on-the-ground reporting in the rural West. It's about her growing comfort with solitude, the technicalities that define a water right, and the people she met along the way. But it's also a testament to how recreation can serve as a door to learning and an opportunity to engage with big issues that paddlers--and all outdoorspeople, including climbers, skiers, hikers, surfers--tend to be passionate about."--REI Blog
"Heather Hansman wants her readers to connect the dots between water use, natural
resources, and human impact"--Sunset Magazine
"Heather Hansman's new book is a must-read for anyone who loves rivers or is concerned about the future of the West . . . The river carries Hansman through Wyoming ranches, natural-gas fields, cities, and national parks, and she finds that seemingly everyone wants a piece of its pie. So she follows her curiosity, learning where the water goes--and who's fighting over what."
"Whether you're a westerner or not, you'll be caught up in the hustle and flow of this universal story, one that has rippling effects on our entire country."--Shape
"Downriver should be required reading for everyone who enjoys this podcast--it strikes the perfect balance of being entertaining and educational while examining all sides of the many issues facing the West's water supply. There are few topics in the West as divisive and emotional as water, and in her book, Heather provides a balanced overview of all the issues, delving deep into the substance of water-related arguments, without crossing over into the mind-numbing jargon that defines most water-related writing."--Mountain & Prairie
"[A] strength of Downriver is Hansman's ability to make complex and historically fraught water issues understandable. It can take years of engagement to fully comprehend many of the topics she discusses, such as tribal water rights. But Hansman's writing is clear and succinct, and she has done a great deal of research. As someone who has spent the better part of a decade thinking about Colorado River governance, I was impressed by the book. Hansman exceeded my expectations. Her descriptions and discussions of western water topics are so useful and accurate that they make an excellent starting point for anyone wanting to learn more about these issues."--American Scientist
"Hansman's new book Downriver: Into the Future of Water in the West explores the water emergency with remarkable calm and even-handedness."--The New Republic