In his follow up book, poet, painter and naturalist Obi Kaufmann, turns his creative and analytical attention to the Golden State's single most complex and controversial resource: water. He offers nine perspectives to illustrate the most pressing challenges facing California's water infrastructure. Obi's powerful message of hope comes as an antidote to the miasma of despair that seems to pervade most popular discourse regarding the natural world of California and beyond.
For poet, painter and naturalist Obi Kaufmann, California is a magic network of living systems that connect in a grand, quilted array of ecology and beauty. In this new book, full-color maps unravel the braided knot of California’s water infrastructure and ecosystems, exposing a history of unlimited growth in spite of finite natural resources—a history that has led to its current precarious circumstances. But this built world depends upon the biosphere, and in The State of Water Obi argues that environmental conservation and restoration efforts are necessary not only for ethical reasons but also as a matter of human survival. Offering nine perspectives to illustrate the most pressing challenges facing California’s water infrastructure, from dams to species revitalization, Kaufmann reveals pragmatic yet inspiring solutions to how water in the West can continue to support agriculture, municipalities, and the environment. Interspersed throughout with trail paintings of animals that might survive under a caring and careful water ethic, Kaufmann shows how California can usher in a new era of responsible water conservation, and—perhaps most importantly—how we may do so together.