Water, the Defining Crisis of the Twenty-first Century
Author: Fred Pearce
Publisher: Beacon Press
Traveling to more than thirty countries to define the scientific, economic, and historical dimensions of the water crisis, offers a solution based on managing the water cycle for the maximum social good, rather than pure self-interest.
The New Fight over Who Owns the Earth
Author: Fred Pearce
Publisher: Beacon Press
Category: Social Science
How Wall Street, Chinese billionaires, oil sheiks, and agribusiness are buying up huge tracts of land in a hungry, crowded world. An unprecedented land grab is taking place around the world. Fearing future food shortages or eager to profit from them, the world’s wealthiest and most acquisitive countries, corporations, and individuals have been buying and leasing vast tracts of land around the world. The scale is astounding: parcels the size of small countries are being gobbled up across the plains of Africa, the paddy fields of Southeast Asia, the jungles of South America, and the prairies of Eastern Europe. Veteran science writer Fred Pearce spent a year circling the globe to find out who was doing the buying, whose land was being taken over, and what the effect of these massive land deals seems to be. The Land Grabbers is a first-of-its-kind exposé that reveals the scale and the human costs of the land grab, one of the most profound ethical, environmental, and economic issues facing the globalized world in the twenty-first century. The corporations, speculators, and governments scooping up land cheap in the developing world claim that industrial-scale farming will help local economies. But Pearce’s research reveals a far more troubling reality. While some mega-farms are ethically run, all too often poor farmers and cattle herders are evicted from ancestral lands or cut off from water sources. The good jobs promised by foreign capitalists and home governments alike fail to materialize. Hungry nations are being forced to export their food to the wealthy, and corporate potentates run fiefdoms oblivious to the country beyond their fences. Pearce’s story is populated with larger-than-life characters, from financier George Soros and industry tycoon Richard Branson, to Gulf state sheikhs, Russian oligarchs, British barons, and Burmese generals. We discover why Goldman Sachs is buying up the Chinese poultry industry, what Lord Rothschild and a legendary 1970s asset-stripper are doing in the backwoods of Brazil, and what plans a Saudi oil billionaire has for Ethiopia. Along the way, Pearce introduces us to the people who actually live on, and live off of, the supposedly “empty” land that is being grabbed, from Cambodian peasants, victimized first by the Khmer Rouge and now by crony capitalism, to African pastoralists confined to ever-smaller tracts. Over the next few decades, land grabbing may matter more, to more of the planet’s people, than even climate change. It will affect who eats and who does not, who gets richer and who gets poorer, and whether agrarian societies can exist outside corporate control. It is the new battle over who owns the planet.
A River, the Environment, Politics, & the Fate of All Humanity
Author: Nathaniel Tripp
Today's runaway "free market" economy eschews long-term planning and marginalizes true environmentalism."--BOOK JACKET.
Privatization, Pollution, and Profit
Author: Vandana Shiva
Publisher: North Atlantic Books
Acclaimed author and award-winning scientist and activist Vandana Shiva lucidly details the severity of the global water shortage, calling the water crisis “the most pervasive, most severe, and most invisible dimension of the ecological devastation of the earth.” She sheds light on the activists who are fighting corporate maneuvers to convert the life-sustaining resource of water into more gold for the elites and uses her knowledge of science and society to outline the emergence of corporate culture and the historical erosion of communal water rights. Using the international water trade and industrial activities such as damming, mining, and aquafarming as her lens, Shiva exposes the destruction of the earth and the disenfranchisement of the world's poor as they are stripped of rights to a precious common good. Revealing how many of the most important conflicts of our time, most often camouflaged as ethnic wars or religious wars, are in fact conflicts over scarce but vital natural resources, she calls for a movement to preserve water access for all and offers a blueprint for global resistance based on examples of successful campaigns. Featuring a new introduction by the author, this edition of Water Wars celebrates the spiritual and traditional role water has played in communities throughout history and warns that water privatization threatens cultures and livelihoods worldwide.
Author: Tim Davie
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
In order to manage the world's increasingly scarce water resources we must have a sound understanding of how water moves around the planet and what influences water quality. Fundamentals of Hydrology provides an engaging and comprehensive introduction to this subject and provides real-life examples of water resource management in a changing world. The second edition of this popular book brings the text up-to-date with additional case studies and diagrams and a greater synthesis of water quality with physical hydrology. The chapters on runoff and evaporation have been updated and the final chapter on hydrology in a changing world has more material on water resource management strategies. Additionally the chapter on streamflow analysis now includes a more in-depth section on modelling runoff. The book begins with a comprehensive coverage of precipitation, evaporation, water stored in the ground and as snow and ice, and runoff. These physical hydrological processes show with respect to the fundamental knowledge about the process, its measurement and estimation and how it ties in with water quality. Following this is a section on analyzing streamflow data, including using computer models and combining hydrology and ecology for in-stream flow assessment. A chapter on water quality shows how to measure and estimate it in a variable environment and finishes with a section on pollution treatment. The final chapter brings the text together to discuss water resource management andreal-life issues that are faced by hydrologists in a constantly changing world. Fundamentals of Hydrology is a lively and accessible introduction to the study of hydrology at university level. This new edition continues to provide an understanding of hydrological processes, knowledge of the techniques used to assess water resources and an up-to-date overview of water resource management in a changing world. Throughout the text, wide-ranging examples and case studies are used to clearly explain ideas and methods. Short chapter summaries, essay questions, guides to further reading and a glossary are also included.
The Fate of Freshwater in the Twenty-First Century
Author: Alex Prud'homme
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Category: Juvenile Fiction
This work of investigative journalism shows how freshwater is the pressing global issue of the twenty-first century.
Water and Life on the High Plains
Author: William Ashworth
Documents the history of the hidden High Plains aquifer that lies deep beneath the Great Plains between Texas and Colorado, citing its role in irrigation and agriculture while explaining the growing threat that it may run dry, a circumstance that would revert the Great Plains to its original desert-like climate. Reprint.
And Our Planet's Surprising Future
Author: Fred Pearce
Publisher: Beacon Press
Chronicles nearly two hundred years of demographic issues, beginning with efforts to contain the demographic explosion, from the early environmental movement's racism to coercive family-planning policies in China and India.
The Global Water Crisis and the Coming Battle for the Right to Water
Author: Maude Barlow
Publisher: The New Press
Category: Technology & Engineering
In a book hailed by Publishers Weekly as a “passionate plea for access to water activism,” Blue Covenant addresses an environmental crisis that—together with global warming—poses one of the gravest threats to our survival. How did the world’s most vital resource become imperiled? And what must we do to pull back from the brink? In “stark and nearly devastating prose” (Booklist ), world-renowned activist and bestselling author Maude Barlow—who is featured in the acclaimed documentary Flow —discusses the state of the world’s water. Barlow examines how water companies are reaping vast profits from declining supplies, and how ordinary people from around the world have banded together to reclaim the public’s right to clean water, creating a grassroots global water justice movement. While tracing the history of international battles for the right to water, she documents the life-and-death stakes involved in the fight and lays out the actions that we as global citizens must take to secure a water-just world for all. As people around the world turn their attention to the effects of climate change, Blue Covenant is a timely and important reminder for us to take heed of the global water crisis’s impact on humans and the natural world.
The Global Water Crisis and Where We Go from Here
Author: Participant Media
Category: Performing Arts
“If there was a price placed on clean water we might start treating it like it has value. Maybe when it’s gone we'll realize we can’t drink oil or money.” —Dave Matthews Less than 1 percent of the world’s water is fresh and potable—and no more will ever be available. Thanks to pollution, global warming, and population growth, water access is poised to become today’s most explosive global issue. This book, based on the film Last Call at the Oasis by Academy Award®–winning director Jessica Yu, offers insights into the coming water crisis from visionary scientists, policymakers, activists, and environmentalists, including: ROBERT MORAN on how oil and mineral development pollute and divert water supplies—often beyond public scrutiny PETER H. GLEICK on discovering the “soft path” to global water security ROBERT GLENNON on how the power of markets can help protect the world’s water LYNN HENNING on how a family farmer became a passionate “water activist” ALEX PRUD’HOMME on how the water crisis affects us all GARY WHITE on how innovative social and economic strategies can make clean water available even for the world’s poorest people HADLEY ARNOLD AND PETER ARNOLD on how arid regions like America’s Southwest can wisely husband water supplies for cities and farmers alike ROBYN BEAVERS on how today’s smartest businesses are making sustainable water management a competitive advantage ZEM JOAQUIN on nine “ecofabulous” ways of saving water at home—and doing it with style BILL MCDONOUGH on how smart design can preserve water’s “Endless Resourcefulness” for generations to come No resource on earth is more precious—or more endangered—than water. Last Call at the Oasis is a powerful tool for learning about the water challenges we face as well as the remarkable solutions available to us—if we have the will to use them.
Big Business, Local Springs, and the Battle over America's Drinking Water
Author: Elizabeth Royte
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
Second only to soda, bottled water is on the verge of becoming the most popular beverage in the country. The brands have become so ubiquitous that we're hardly conscious that Poland Spring and Evian were once real springs, bubbling in remote corners of Maine and France. Only now, with the water industry trading in the billions of dollars, have we begun to question what it is we're drinking. In this intelligent, accomplished work of narrative journalism, Elizabeth Royte does for water what Michael Pollan did for food: she finds the people, machines, economies, and cultural trends that bring it from distant aquifers to our supermarkets. Along the way, she investigates the questions we must inevitably answer. Who owns our water? How much should we drink? Should we have to pay for it? Is tap safe water safe to drink? And if so, how many chemicals are dumped in to make it potable? What happens to all those plastic bottles we carry around as predictably as cell phones? And of course, what's better: tap water or bottled?
Messages of Hope for Earth's Most Precious Resource
Author: Irena Salina
Publisher: National Geographic Books
Written in Water: Messages of Hope for Earth's Most Precious Resource comprises a collection of essays authored by heroes and leaders in the field of water solutions and innovations—a broad range of people from varied disciplines who have contributed their hearts and minds to bringing awareness to and conserving Earth’s freshwater supply. In their own words, authors tell of such tragedies as water slavery, drought, or contamination, as well as their own professional struggles and successes in pursuit of freshwater solutions. Contributors include: Alexandra Cousteau, social environmental advocate and granddaughter of legendary marine scientist Jacques Cousteau; Peter Gleick, environmental visionary and winner of a 2003 MacArthur "genius grant"; Bill McKibben, bestselling author and winner of a Guggenheim fellowship; Sylvia Earle, oceanographer and Time magazine’s first "hero for the planet"; and Christine Todd Whitman, former head of the Environmental Protection Agency, along with more than a dozen other notable people. These visionaries’ stories touch, surprise, and amaze as they help us see the essential role played by water in our world, our lives, and our future. These are all people who are thinking far beyond the realm of self; they are devoted to creating a better world for all of us.
The Past, Present, and Future of the World's Most Vital Resource
Author: David Sedlak
Publisher: Yale University Press
Turn on the faucet, and water pours out. Pull out the drain plug, and the dirty water disappears. Most of us give little thought to the hidden systems that bring us water and take it away when we’re done with it. But these underappreciated marvels of engineering face an array of challenges that cannot be solved without a fundamental change to our relationship with water, David Sedlak explains in this enlightening book. To make informed decisions about the future, we need to understand the three revolutions in urban water systems that have occurred over the past 2,500 years and the technologies that will remake the system.div /DIVdivThe author starts by describing Water 1.0, the early Roman aqueducts, fountains, and sewers that made dense urban living feasible. He then details the development of drinking water and sewage treatment systems—the second and third revolutions in urban water. He offers an insider’s look at current systems that rely on reservoirs, underground pipe networks, treatment plants, and storm sewers to provide water that is safe to drink, before addressing how these water systems will have to be reinvented. For everyone who cares about reliable, clean, abundant water, this book is essential reading./DIV
Mapping the World's Most Critical Resource
Author: Maggie Black
Publisher: Univ of California Press
Category: Business & Economics
Climate change, population increase, and the demands made by the growing number of people adopting urban lifestyles and western diets threaten the world’s supply of freshwater, edging us closer to a global water crisis, with dire implications for agriculture, the economy, the environment, and human health. Completely revised and updated, The Atlas of Water is a compelling visual guide to the state of this life-sustaining resource. Using vivid graphics, maps, and charts, it explores the complex human interaction with water around the world. This vibrant atlas addresses all the pressing issues concerning water, from water shortages and excessive demand, to dams, pollution, and privatization, all considered in terms of the growing threat of an increasingly unpredictable climate. It also outlines critical tools for managing water, providing safe access to water, and preserving the future of the world’s water supply.
The American West and Its Disappearing Water, Revised Edition
Author: Marc Reisner
Category: Technology & Engineering
"The definitive work on the West's water crisis." --Newsweek The story of the American West is the story of a relentless quest for a precious resource: water. It is a tale of rivers diverted and dammed, of political corruption and intrigue, of billion-dollar battles over water rights, of ecological and economic disaster. In his landmark book, Cadillac Desert, Marc Reisner writes of the earliest settlers, lured by the promise of paradise, and of the ruthless tactics employed by Los Angeles politicians and business interests to ensure the city's growth. He documents the bitter rivalry between two government giants, the Bureau of Reclamation and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, in the competition to transform the West. Based on more than a decade of research, Cadillac Desert is a stunning expose and a dramatic, intriguing history of the creation of an Eden--an Eden that may only be a mirage. From the Trade Paperback edition.
An Integrated Approach
Author: Joseph Holden
The world faces huge challenges for water as population continues to grow, as emerging economies develop and as climate change alters the global and local water cycle. There are major questions to be answered about how we supply water in a sustainable and safe manner to fulfil our needs, while at the same time protecting vulnerable ecosystems from disaster. Water Resources: An Integrated Approach provides students with a comprehensive overview of both natural and socio-economic processes associated with water. The book contains chapters written by 20 specialist contributors, providing expert depth of coverage to topics. The text guides the reader through the topic of water starting with its unique properties and moving through environmental processes and human impacts upon them including the changing water cycle, water movement in river basins, water quality, groundwater and aquatic ecosystems. The book then covers management strategies for water resources, water treatment and re-use, and the role of water in human health before covering water economics and water conflict. The text concludes with a chapter that examines new concepts such as virtual water that help us understand current and future water resource use and availability across interconnected local and global scales. This book provides a novel interdisciplinary approach to water in a changing world, from an environmental change perspective and inter-related social, political and economic dimensions. It includes global examples from both the developing and developed world. Each chapter is supplemented with boxed case studies, end of chapter questions, and further reading, as well as a glossary of terms. The text is richly illustrated throughout with over 150 full colour diagrams and photos.
A Guide for Moving from Scarcity to Sustainability
Author: Brian Richter
Publisher: Island Press
Water scarcity is spreading and intensifying in many regions of the world, with dire consequences for local communities, economies, and freshwater ecosystems. Current approaches tend to rely on policies crafted at the state or national level, which on their own have proved insufficient to arrest water scarcity. To be durable and effective, water plans must be informed by the culture, economics, and varied needs of affected community members. International water expert Brian Richter argues that sustainable water sharing in the twenty-first century can only happen through open, democratic dialogue and local collective action. In Chasing Water, Richter tells a cohesive and complete story of water scarcity: where it is happening, what is causing it, and how it can be addressed. Through his engaging and nontechnical style, he strips away the complexities of water management to its bare essentials, providing information and practical examples that will empower community leaders, activists, and students to develop successful and long-lasting water programs. Chasing Water will provide local stakeholders with the tools and knowledge they need to take an active role in the watershed-based planning and implementation that are essential for water supplies to remain sustainable in perpetuity.
The Story Behind Our Obsession with Bottled Water
Author: Peter H. Gleick
Publisher: Island Press
Category: Business & Economics
Examines the commercialization of bottled water, discussing how the demand has been fueled by the marketing campaigns of big business and the impact that sales have had on the environment, public policy, and global access to a natural resource.
Unmaking America's Water Crisis
Author: Cynthia Barnett
Publisher: Beacon Press
Americans see water as abundant and cheap: we turn on the faucet and out it gushes, for less than a penny a gallon. We use more water than any other culture in the world, much to quench what’s now our largest crop—the lawn. Yet most Americans cannot name the river or aquifer that flows to our taps, irrigates our food, and produces our electricity. And most don’t realize these freshwater sources are in deep trouble. Blue Revolution exposes the truth about the water crisis—driven not as much by lawn sprinklers as by a tradition that has encouraged everyone, from homeowners to farmers to utilities, to tap more and more. But the book also offers much reason for hope. Award-winning journalist Cynthia Barnett argues that the best solution is also the simplest and least expensive: a water ethic for America. Just as the green movement helped build awareness about energy and sustainability, so a blue movement will reconnect Americans to their water, helping us value and conserve our most life-giving resource. Avoiding past mistakes, living within our water means, and turning to “local water” as we do local foods are all part of this new, blue revolution. Reporting from across the country and around the globe, Barnett shows how people, businesses, and governments have come together to dramatically reduce water use and reverse the water crisis. Entire metro areas, such as San Antonio, Texas, have halved per capita water use. Singapore’s “closed water loop” recycles every drop. New technologies can slash agricultural irrigation in half: businesses can save a lot of water—and a lot of money—with designs as simple as recycling air-conditioning condensate. The first book to call for a national water ethic, Blue Revolution is also a powerful meditation on water and community in America.
Reclaiming Our Water In An Age Of Globalization
Author: Fred Pearce
Publisher: Island Press
Water has long been the object of political ambition and conflict. Recent history is full of leaders who tried to harness water to realize national dreams. Yet the people who most need water--farmers, rural villages, impoverished communities--are too often left, paradoxically, with desiccated fields, unfulfilled promises, and refugee status. It doesn't have to be this way, according to Fred Pearce. A veteran science news correspondent, Pearce has for over fifteen years chronicled the development of large-scale water projects like China's vast Three Gorges dam and India's Sardar Sarovar. But, as he and numerous other authors have pointed out, far from solving our water problems, these industrial scale projects, and others now in the planning, are bringing us to the brink of a global water crisis. Pearce decided there had to be a better way. To find it, he traveled the globe in search of alternatives to mega-engineering projects. In Keepers of the Spring, he brings back intriguing stories from people like Yannis Mitsis, an ethnic Greek Cypriot, who is the last in his line to know the ways and whereabouts of a network of underground tunnels that have for centuries delivered to farming communities the water they need to survive on an arid landscape. He recounts the inspiring experiences of small-scale water stewards like Kenyan Jane Ngei, who reclaimed for her people a land abandoned by her government as a wasteland. And he tells of many others who are developing new techniques and rediscovering ancient ones to capture water for themselves. The solution to our water problems, he finds, may not lie in new technologies but in recovering ancient traditions, using water more efficiently, and better understanding local hydrology. Are these approaches adequate to serve the world's growing populations? The answer remains unclear. But we ignore them at our own peril.