Since the 1973 oil embargo numerous studies have been commissioned on the subject of water and energy, and thus the proliferation of books and reports on associated problems is not surprising. The importance of the issues at stake and the realization that we were relatively unprepared to deal with the anticipated high level of future coal and shale development in the West altered our perceptions of many water-energy issues; the issues were elevated, at least in some quarters, from the level of a common planning problem to the level of a crisis. For those of us who were captured in this syndrome and were a part of these “crisis studies,” this document inescapably brings a sense of déja vu.
The review of books serves multiple goals and purposes for readers as well as authors. For example, when I read book reviews in Eos, I am most interested in one that briefly introduces the book's topics, indicates the depth and breadth of the discussion, constructively highlights the major attributes and limitations of the book, critically evaluates the book as a whole, and, if possible, suggests other documents that either supplement or complement the book's writings. I will attempt to do just this.