Clements Center Evening Lecture Series

Eric Perramond

Unsettled Waters: Rights, Law, and Identity in the American West

Thursday, October 24, 2109 | The Texana Room in the DeGolyer Library, Fondren Library, 6404  Robert S. Hyer Lane, SMU  |  5:30 reception followed by 6 pm lecture and book signing.  Books will be available for purchase. 

To register online, click here or email swcenter@smu.edu 

Co-sponsored with the DeGolyer Special collections Library at SMU

In the American West, water adjudication lawsuits are adversarial, expensive, and lengthy. Unsettled Waters (University of North Carolina Press, 2018)s the first detailed study of water adjudications in New Mexico. The state envisioned adjudication as a straightforward accounting of water rights as private property. However, adjudication resurfaced tensions and created conflicts among water sovereigns at multiple scales. Based on more than ten years of fieldwork, this book tells a fascinating story of resistance involving communal water cultures, Native rights and cleaved identities, clashing experts, and unintended outcomes. Whether the state can alter adjudications to meet the water demands in the twenty-first century will have serious consequences.

"Unsettled Waters is an engagingly-written, empirically rich, and helpful new signpost along a throughline of regional literature"—Water Alternatives

"Unsettled Waters deftly examines the different cultural values of water among Pueblo peoples, Hispanics, and public policy makers. Eric Perramond makes water adjudication a very human process, one that reflects the values, frustrations, and goals of water users and water experts alike. This is a superb and deeply humane piece of scholarship and should be read by everyone interested in Western water issues."—Thomas E. Sheridan, author of Arizona: A History

Eric P. Perramond is a geographer and holds a joint appointment in the Environmental and Southwest Studies programs at Colorado College. He is the author of Political Ecologies of Cattle Ranching in Northern Mexico.

Maps and directions to SMU.