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Literature / The Tamarisk Hunter

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The Tamarisk Hunter is a short story written by Paolo Bacigalupi and published by First Country News. It deals with a "tamarisk hunter", a person who against money and a water bounty eradicates tamarisk trees in the Colorado River basin to reduce their water consumption.

Originally published here. The Water Knife is set into the same universe.


  • After the End: Lolo encounters a town that has been abandoned and is being buried by sands and overrun by tumbleweeds.
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  • Apocalypse How: The unending drought "Big Daddy Drought" along with the loss of water rights have destroyed much of the Southwestern US.
  • Cryptic Background Reference: The events surrounding Lake Havasu City are referred to in-story, but beyond involving water and possibly the destruction of a water plant, it's not clear what they were.
  • Doomed Hometown: It is implied that Travis once lived farther down in Lake Havasu City before the drought and whatever disaster happened to the city forced them to flee.
  • Dystopia: The people around the Colorado River have lost most if not all of their water rights to California, resulting in the collapse of civilization around the river.
  • Dystopian Edict: Most if not all of the water in the Colorado River belongs to California, meaning that states and people farther upriver have no water.
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  • Spiteful Spit: When the word "California" falls in conversation.


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