Opinion Book Club

L.A. Times book club selects 'Cadillac Desert' by Marc Reisner

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Event Videos | Event Details | About the Book



Event Videos


Event Details

When: Sunday, June 7th from 2-4 p.m.
Where: Hyperion Treatment Plant
RSVP: Click here to register

We will be joined by:

  • David Hayes, Distinguished Visiting Lecturer in Law at Stanford Law School & former Deputy Secretary of the Department of the Interior for Presidents Clinton and Obama
  • Mike Sweeney, Executive Director, The Nature Conservancy in California
  • Jeff Kightlinger, General Manager, Metropolitan Water District
  • Celeste Cantu, General Manager, Santa Ana Watershed Protection Authority

Doors will open at 1 p.m. to give you a chance to tour the Environmental Learning Center's Water's Many LA Ways - so you can nerd out on your water footprint, recycled water, urban runoff, the science behind water treatment, and much more!

Don't forget to RSVP today, as space is limited. See you there!


About the Book

Dear Reader,

For our May Times Book Club pick, we're turning our attention to the most burning issue facing California: water.

I’m pleased to announce Marc Reisner’s “Cadillac Desert: The American West and Its Disappearing Water” as a jumping off point for an in-depth, nuanced discussion about the crisis posed by the current mega-drought.

The great historian Bernard De Voto once said, “The West begins where the average annual rainfall drops below 20 inches.” It’s this scarcity that both unites the West and puts us at odds with each other.

We and our neighbors in Las Vegas draw on the Colorado River; we and our neighbors in San Francisco rely on water from the Sierras. To complicate things further, we have hyper-local water delivery systems and a tangle of regulations, statues, treaties, and court decrees ranging from city to international levels.

With the help of “Cadillac Desert,” additional readings, and a group of distinguished water experts, we aim to move beyond a zero-sum blame game of farmers vs. urban dwellers, North vs. South, or California vs. Nevada.

We invite you to join us on Sunday, June 7, at the Hyperion Treatment Plant, the City's oldest and largest wastewater treatment facility for a forward-thinking conversation.

We suggest reading a few additional articles alongside this classic book that provide the latest analysis on the state of water in the West. To start, check out California’s Water from the Public Policy Institute of California and this interactive graphic to see how much water is needed to produce the foods we eat everyday.

I hope you will join me in digging into this fascinating book and critical issue.

— Austin Beutner
Publisher and CEO, Los Angeles Times

Get your copy of Cadillac Desert — called "the definitive work on the West's water crisis" when it was published — at the LA Times Store.

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