Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version

Fall 2000


Published in Great Plains Research 10 (Fall 2000). Copyright © 2000 The Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska–Lincoln. Used by permission.


Groundwater is becoming an increasingly important water source throughout the United States, especially in the West where surface supplies are limited and usually over-committed. An assessment of groundwater in the West is needed, and this book fills an important gap in providing useful information in a well-organized and accessible fashion.

Ashley and Smith discuss the West, incorporating nineteen states, within four subregions: Pacific Coast, Rocky Mountains, Great Plains, and the Southwest. Each state is addressed in an individual chapter observing the same format: after a brief introduction, the authors describe the state's physical characteristics and demographics, the laws, politics, and policy governing water use, and prospects for the future. The chapters range in length from seventeen pages for California and fourteen for Arizona and Nebraska to seven for South Dakota and Idaho and eight for Utah.