‘For water will not do’ is the natural progression of an ongoing project that was designed to observe the historical forces behind, and the subsequent legacy left by the settlement of the Great Basin by the Mormons in the second half of the nineteenth century. It is this context of history through which I am now looking at the larger story of a single river - the Colorado - and its relationship to modern American life. The story is no longer about my zealous, out-cast ancestors and their ultimate facilitation of westward expansion. Though their mark is indelible and enduring. This is a story of a declining river, a setting of harsh beauty and thirty-four million people with no reasonable alternative water source. This is a search for some understanding of the historical and cultural forces that led to the extraordinary effort put forth to ‘tame’ a landscape. It is also an effort to record a complex environment in an unprecedented transitional state with a large slice of American culture inescapably in tow.