Rolling hills, fertile soil: John Steinbeck’s California contrasts a Central Valley that “shouts with grass” during wet years and “puts a terror in the valley” in dry ones. Seventy years and four droughts later, California’s cyclical water shortages continue to disrupt a robust agricultural economy — one that was built to produce up to two-thirds of the country’s fruit, vegetables, and nuts year-round.
In his new book The Dreamt Land, author Mark Arax explores the tumultuous history and reality behind the myth of the Golden State. Can a decades-old distribution system meet the water needs of the future? Will redirecting rivers, drilling deeper wells, and building higher dams quench California’s demand for water? What happens when the next record-breaking drought hits?
Join us with author Mark Arax, water and communications expert Faith Kearns, and Los Angeles Times reporter Diana Marcum for a conversation about living the California dream in a drought-prone state.