Owens Valley Committee » Print and Film

Print and Film


Alcorn, J.R. 1991. Tinnemaha. [by a former orchard grower]

Austin, Mary. 1917 (but still in print). The Ford. [A fictionalized account of the first Owens Valley-Los Angeles battle over water rights. One of several classics by an author ahead of her time.]

Baird, A.J. and Wilby, R.L., Eds. 1999. Eco-Hydrology: Plants and water in terrestrial and aquatic environments. [A good scientific introduction to the relationship between plants, surface water, and groundwater.]

Belden, L. Burr and DeDecker, Mary. 2000. Death Valley to Yosemite: Frontier Mining Camps & Ghost Towns. [An authorized reissue of Mary DeDecker’s 1966 book “Mines of the Eastern Sierra,” with updates.]

Brooks, J. 1997. Desert Padre: The Life and Writings of Father John J. Crowley (1891-1940). [The story of Father Crowley, a leader of the water struggle in the 1930s]

Carle, D. 2000. Water and the California Dream. [author lives locally in Lee Vining]

Chalfant, W.H. 1922. The Story of Inyo. [history from a local newspaper publisher]

Ewan, Rebecca. 2000. A Land Between: Owens Valley, California.

Friends of the Eastern California Museum. 1988. Mountains to Deserts: Selected Inyo Readings.

Glennon, R. 2002. Water Follies: Groundwater Pumping and the Fate of America’s Fresh Waters. [Does not include the Owens Valley, but reviews groundwater pumping policy in the U.S. via a string of riveting case studies.]

Hall, Jr. C.A., Doyle-Jones, V., and Widawski, B., Eds. 1992. The History of Water: Eastern Sierra Nevada, Owens Valley, White-Inyo Mountains. White Mountain Research Station Symposium, v. 4. [Water, flora, and fauna in the Owens Valley from the Cambrian to the present. Includes a keynote speech from Marc Reisner and papers from many scientists who’ve chosen to stay in the Owens Valley.]

Hoffman, A. 1981. Vision or Villainy. [A well-researched effort that challenges the “Los Angeles conspiracy” in the Owens Valley]

Hundley, Jr. N. 2001. The Great Thirst: Californians and Water.

Kahrl, W. 1982. Water and Power. [the most comprehensive treatment of the Inyo-LA relationship –100+ pages of references]

Nadeau, Remi. 1950. The Water Seekers. [a classic by a well-known Los Angeles historian]

Outwater, A. 1996. Water: A Natural History. New York: Basic Books. [An entertaining and informative review of what happens to surface water, past the sewage stage, in the U.S.]

Pielou, E.C. 1998. Fresh Water. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press. [Excellent introduction to the science of water]

Reisner, M. 1993. Cadillac Desert. New York: Penguin Books. [A classic work that reviews the roller-coaster history of water rerouting, dams, and “water conservation” in the United States.]

Reisner, M. and Bates, S. 1990. Overtapped Oasis. Washington, D.C.: Island Press. [A review of water policy and where we’ve gone wrong.]

Rothfeder, J. 2001. Every Drop for Sale. New York: Penguin Putnam Inc. [Discusses international trends and individual cases of buying, selling, and simply taking water]

Sauder, R.A. 1994. The Lost Frontier: Water Diversion in the Growth and Destruction of Owens Valley Agriculture. [An economic study–covers settlement, canals, etc.]

Smith, G.S. 1978. The Deepest Valley. [The Owens Valley, from trails and natural history to water history]

Walton, J. 1992. Western Times and Water Wars. [A socioeconomic study.]

Wood. 1973. The Owens Valley as I Knew It. [An account by a local]


Chinatown. 1974. Directed by Roman Polanski and starring Jack Nicholson and Faye Dunaway. [The Owens Valley Water War is the inspiration for this homage to film noir]

Under Western Stars. 1938. Roy Rogers appears in his first starring role in a film that pits ranchers against water barons. [Filmed in the Owens Valley]