Historic Nevada Waters

Four Rivers, Three Lakes, Past and Present


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About the Book

The Great Basin is a hydrographic region that includes most of Nevada and parts of five other Western states. The histories of four of the Western rivers of the Great Basin—the Walker, the Truckee, the Carson and the Humboldt—are explored in this book, along with three of the western lakes of the Great Basin: Lake Tahoe, Pyramid Lake, and Walker Lake. Drawing on a range of sources, the coauthors address both the natural and the human aspects of the history and likely futures of Great Basin waterways.

About the Author(s)

Hunt Janin is an American writer living in southwestern France. He has written numerous nonfiction and scholarly books on a range of subjects, including medieval history and cross-cultural studies.
Ursula Carlson is a professor emerita at Western Nevada College, Carson City, Nevada.

Bibliographic Details

Hunt Janin and Ursula Carlson
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 216
Bibliographic Info: appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2019
pISBN: 978-1-4766-7261-8
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3509-5
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface 1
Introduction 4
1. The Rivers 9
2. The Indians Before and After Contact with the Whites 25
3. Highlights of Exploration, Emigration, Communications and Transportation 32
4. Rivers Encourage the Development of Agriculture, Towns and Cities 47
5. The Rise and Fall of the Comstock Lode and Its Rivals 65
6. Railroads Depend on the Rivers and Forests 71
7. The Chinese Find Gold and Build Railroads 73
8. An Introduction to Nevada’s Water Laws and Water Rights 76
9. Basque Sheepherders in the High Desert Ranges 86
10. The Newlands Project 92
11. The Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe Challenges Derby Dam 95
12. The Alpine Decree 98
13. Lake Tahoe and the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA) 101
14. The Truckee River Operating Agreement (TROA) 109
15. Walker Lake 111
16. Nevada Floods 115
17. Notable Men and Women Living Near the Waterways 118
18. Environmental Degradation 136
19. Climate Change and Population Growth 144
20. Looking Toward the Future 153
Conclusion 161
Chronology 165
Appendix 1: Dan De Quille on How the Sinks Came Into Being 171
Appendix 2: Floodplain Protection for the Carson River 173
Appendix 3: Denial of Global Warming 177
Appendix 4: A Note on the Effects of Humidity on Snowpack 179
Chapter Notes 181
Bibliography 192
Index 201

Book Reviews & Awards

“The authors clearly care about the state of Nevada and its water. The writing is easy to read…enjoyable and readable”—The Northern Mariner