The first book-length environmental history of the Pecos River has been published, culminating almost seven years of work sponsored by Pecos River Resolution Corporation (PRRC).
Bitter Waters: The Struggles of the Pecos River by Patrick Dearen was released in March by University of Oklahoma Press. The book explores man’s influence on the river throughout its 926 miles from its New Mexico headwaters to its confluence with the Rio Grande at Amistad Reservoir on the Texas-Mexico border. Bitter Waters also identifies the river’s many issues and the prospects for solutions.
In keeping with PRRC’s non-partisan focus, Dearen’s book has been endorsed by officials in both states. Ray Willis, New Mexico’s commissioner on the Pecos River Commission, calls Bitter Waters “a thought-provoking study” and a “must-read.” His Texas counterpart on the Commission, Rick Tate, describes the book as “full of facts and numbers but a comfortable read. As author Patrick Dearen shows, the current and future demands on the Pecos will most likely bring on some great challenges.”
Carter Smith, executive director of Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, observed that Bitter Waters offers an artesian well of information that will captivate the leisurely and scholarly-minded reader alike. . . . Whether you worry about the future of our wild things and wild places, depend upon the river for your land or your livelihood, or simply care for a tough old, meandering river, this book needs to be at the top of your reading list.”
PRRC is indebted to the many Friends of PRRC whose financial support made this book possible. A generous contribution by N.S. Haley Memorial Library allowed the publisher to issue Bitter Waters in hardcover.
Bitter Waters is available for purchase at University of Oklahoma Press here. Online booksellers also carry the title in both print and eBook editions.
Update: March 24, 2016