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The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 73, July 1969 - April, 1970

Book Reviews

arid Southwest, was first researched by Wallace for a seminar paper.
Since World War II El Paso's population has trebled, thereby tripling
its prewar water requirements. Yet, since 1910, per capita water con-
sumption has risen from 76 gallons per day to 167 gallons per day.
Thus, its growing water demands have been twofold: in the absolute
amount required and in the rate of consumption. Faced with limits
imposed by the weather and by political considerations, El Paso has
devoted unceasing ingenuity and attention to the problems of seeking
new water sources and of preserving existing ones. The city's principal
source, the Hueco Bolson, is currently supplying 6o per cent of its
needs and in an amount which is well in excess of the recharge sup-
plied by nature. Estimates vary as to the number of years the water
table in the Bolson will last, but there is no disagreement about the
fact that it is drying up. El Paso's Public Service Board has already
begun planning different approaches to overcome the problem, such
as increased use of the Rio Grande, water desalinization, water im-
portation, and reuse of wastes. The problems are multitudinous and
complex and as yet no single solution seems in sight.
Eagle Pass, Texas BEN E. PINGENOT
Pass of the North: Four Centuries on the Rio Grande. By C. L. Son-
nichsen. (El Paso: Texas Western Press, 1968. Pp. ix+467. Illus-
trations, bibliography, index. $1 o.oo.)
For all of us who love the stark beauty of far West Texas, Professor
C. L. Sonnichsen has compiled a remarkable and readable history of
the community of El Paso and the adjacent valley of the Rio Grande.
Since the scope of this narrative covers four centuries, Sonnichsen be-
gins with the first Europeans to view the lands around the Pass of the
North, brown-robed Franciscans and soldiers such as Cabeza de Vaca,
Fray Agustin Rodriquez, Francisco SAnchez (the elderly Camuscado),
Juan de Ofiate, Fray Francisco Perez, and Fray Garcfa de Francisco y
Zifiiga, who is described as the "real founder of the settlement of El
Paso." The contribution of each of these (all members of the van-
guard of the Chihuahua frontier) to the early history of the El Paso
Valley is discussed in some detail. It is also pointed out that the New
Mexican Indian rebellion, 168o-1691, motivated many refugees from
the northern Rio Grande to re-settle at El Paso; these difficulties of
the 168o's were followed by a "century of trouble."


Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 73, July 1969 - April, 1970. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed May 1, 2016.

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