Published: Nov. 1, 2019
Colloquium poster with woman overlooking vast water project with dam

Eric Perramond
Environmental Science and Southwest Studies 
Professor, Colorado College


In the American West, water adjudication lawsuits are adversarial, expensive, and lengthy. Unsettled Waters is 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.

Brief Bio

Eric Perramond is a human-environment geographer, a political ecologist, and is a Professor of Environmental Science and Southwest Studies at Colorado College.  Eric received his Bachelor's degree in 1992 at Mary Washington (VA), Masters in 1994 from LSU (LA), and completed his PhD work in 1999 at the University of Texas at Austin where his work focused on the dynamics of private ranching in Mexico. That work led to his first book, Political Ecologies of Cattle ranching in Northern Mexico: Private Revolutions (2010, University of Arizona Press.

He is also a co-author of An Introduction to Human-Environment Geography: Local Dynamics and Global Processes by William G. Moseley, Eric Perramond, Holly M. Hapke, and Paul Laris (2013, Wiley-Blackwell).

Eric's recent research, for the past ten+ years, has focused on local, New Mexican stories of the water rights adjudication process in New Mexico, its effects on local, regional, and state water governance, and what that state's experience has to offer other states in the American West. This effort is now summarized in his brand new book "Unsettled Waters:  Rights, Law, and Identity in the American West" (2018, University of California Press).