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Water in the Hispanic Southwest
A Social and Legal History, 1550-1850
By Michael C. Meyer
209 pp. / 6.00 in x 9.00 in / 1996
Paper (978-0-8165-1595-0) [s]
Related Interest
  - Law
  - Borderlands Studies
  - Arid Lands Studies

When Spanish conquistadores marched north from Mexico's interior, they encountered one harsh reality that eclipsed all others: the importance of water in an arid land. Covering a time when legal
Michael Meyer has given us [an] eloquent, well-researched book. Water in the Hispanic Southwest deals for the first time with the single natural resource of paramount importance in this region. The book does so based on far-ranging, extensive research into primary and secondary documents. It does so clearly and eloquently. It is mercifully brief and fundamentally important.

—Natural Resources Journal

This down-to-earth history is marked by excellent background information, pertinent theory, and analytical skills and rests on hundreds of manuscripts from a dozen archives in Spain, Mexico, and the Southwest, with thorough use of the best literature. . . . indispensable for the study of regions where the water supply does not meet human needs.

—American Historical Review

This book should find favor not only with historians, lawyers, and hydrologists, but also with sociologists and political scientists. . . . The relevance of these Spanish and Mexican legal precedents to current water rights issues is self-evident.

—Southeastern Latin Americanist

precedents were being set for many water rights laws, this study contributes much to an understanding of the modern Southwest, especially disputes involving Indian water rights. The paperback edition includes a new afterword by the author which discusses the results of recent research.

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