The Colorado River is the seventh largest river in the U.S., supplying water to over 30 million people. It is also one of the most diverted, silted, and heavily litigated rivers in the world. The farmers and residents of the rapidly growing western states rely on the river for irrigation, drinking water, and electricity. This demand has permanently altered the river's ecology. The Colorado River: Flowing Through Conflict shows us the river's entirety-from its headwaters in the Colorado Rockies to the dry riverbed that once reached the Sea of Cortez-in an oversized, full-color, photo essay format.
In order to bring awareness to these issues in a unique way, Peter McBride shot much of the book's photography from the air. As McBride explains, "The aerial perspective shows where we as humans have been, how we connect to the earth, and how nature relates to itself." Jonathan Waterman, at times joined by McBride, spent approximately 100 days paddling the river's 1,450 miles from its source in the Rocky Mountains. He completed the final leg of his journey, accompanied by McBride, with a 10-day walk, carrying packrafts over the 90 miles of dried up riverbed. He lends his valuable expertise and personal experience to the book with informative text that illuminates the water debate from all sides.