Encyclopedia of Water Politics and Policy in the United States

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Water has had an immeasurable impact on the history and growth of the United States. As an essential element of life water has been and remains a constant source of conflict and controversy as different constituencies fight for limited resources.

The Encyclopedia of Water Politics and Policy in the United States is the most comprehensive reference source available that analyzes water-related issues in America. A diverse group of over 100 scholars have provided their research and analysis of why water is so significant by tracing its impact on issues like national and state boundaries, western migration, urbanization, and the economy. This volume chronicles the origins of present-day water problems, political conflicts, the impact of legislation and court decisions on the use of water resources, the major projects undertaken across the country, and what experts are proposing be done to preserve this basic component of the environment.

Going back some 150 years, the Encyclopedia provides an overview of approximately 280 pieces of water-related legislation, legal cases, people, projects, and organizations that have shaped the history of the United States. In addition to historical coverage, the volume also addresses many current environmental issues including acid rain, agriculture, climate change, mining, erosion, levees and dams, pollution, urbanization, and wastewater treatment.

The volume’s A to Z entries are divided into four sections:

  • Regional Water Politics and Policy: Essays providing a narrative background and overview
  • Major Issues in Water Politics and Policy: A comprehensive list of issues from colonial times to the present
  • Law and Government: The people and legislation that have shaped water policy in the United States
  • Places and Projects: Extensive coverage of the projects (including dams and aqueducts) the government has undertaken to develop the nation’s waterways

Throughout the volume, concise text features highlight important events, advocacy groups, people, books, and sites important to water politics and policy. A thematic table of contents allows users to easily locate reclamation projects geographically, biographies of important figures, current issues by subject area, government agencies, and legal cases.