Book ID: CBB448006872

Running Out: In Search of Water on the High Plains (2021)


Lucas Bessire (Author)

Princeton University Press

Publication Date: 2021
Physical Details: 264
Language: English

The Ogallala aquifer has nourished life on the American Great Plains for millennia. But less than a century of unsustainable irrigation farming has taxed much of the aquifer beyond repair. The imminent depletion of the Ogallala and other aquifers around the world is a defining planetary crisis of our times. Running Out offers a uniquely personal account of aquifer depletion and the deeper layers through which it gains meaning and force.Anthropologist Lucas Bessire journeyed back to western Kansas, where five generations of his family lived as irrigation farmers and ranchers, to try to make sense of this vital resource and its loss. His search for water across the drying High Plains brings the reader face to face with the stark realities of industrial agriculture, eroding democratic norms, and surreal interpretations of a looming disaster. Yet the destination is far from predictable, as the book seeks to move beyond the words and genres through which destruction is often known. Instead, this journey into the morass of eradication offers a series of unexpected discoveries about what it means to inherit the troubled legacies of the past and how we can take responsibility for a more inclusive, sustainable future.An urgent and unsettling meditation on environmental change, Running Out is a revelatory account of family, complicity, loss, and what it means to find your way back home.

Reviewed By

Review Jaclyn J. S. Miller (2024) Review of "Running Out: In Search of Water on the High Plains". Agricultural History (pp. 125-127). unapi

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Authors & Contributors
Argentieri, Alessio
Miller, Char
Alvise Fiume
Stroshane, Tim
La Vigna, Francesco
Schulte, Steven C.
Acque Sotterranee
Historical Records of Australian Science
East Asian Science, Technology and Society: An International Journal
Agricultural History
University of Nebraska Press
University Press of Colorado
University of Pittsburgh Press
University of Nevada Press
University of Arizona Press
Water resource management
Water supply
Groundwater; Aquifers
Environmental history
Powell, John Wesley
Time Periods
20th century
19th century
21st century
Early modern
Etruscan civilization
United States
Great Plains (North America)
Colorado (U.S.)
Jakarta (Indonesia)
Lagos, Nigeria

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