Salt Dreams: Land and Water in Low-Down California

deBuys, William, and Joan Myers | from Multimedia Library Collection:
Books & Profiles

deBuys, William, and Joan Myers. Salt Dreams: Land and Water in Low-Down California. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1999.

In low places consequences collect, and in all North America you cannot get much lower than the Imperial Valley of southern California, where one town, 186 feet below sea level, calls itself the Lowest Down City in the Western Hemisphere, and where the waters of the Colorado River sustain a billion-dollar agricultural industry. The consequences of that industry drain from the valley into the accidentally man-made Salton Sea, California’s largest lake and a vital stopping place for migratory waterfowl. Today the Salton Sea is in desperate environmental trouble. A second river also ends in the Salton Sea. It is a river of dreams, the remains of which may be seen in the failed real estate developments that sprawl beside the sea. As the ending point of both the real Colorado and this river of dreams, the Salton Sea has become emblematic of much of the history of the American West. Its troubling story is masterfully told in William deBuys’s narrative and Joan Myers’s austerely beautiful photographs. — University of New Mexico Press website.