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Original Essays | September 30, 2014

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1 Burnside Geography- Water and Hydrology

This title in other editions

Water: A Natural History


Water: A Natural History Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

An environmental engineer turned ecology writer relates the history of our waterways and her own growing understanding of why our waterways continue to be polluted—and what needs to be done to save this essential natural resourse.Water: A Natural History takes us back to the diaries of the first Western explorers; it moves from the reservoir to the modern toliet, from the grasslands of the Midwest to the Everglades of Florida, throught the guts of a wastewater treatment plant and out to the waterways again. It shows how human-engineered dams, canals and farms replaces natures beaver dams, prairie dog tunnels, and buffalo wallows. Step by step, Outwater makes clear what should have always been obvious: while engineering can depollute water, only ecologically interacting systems can create healthy waterways.Important reading for students of environmental studies, the heart of this history is a vision of our land and waterways as they once were, and a plan that can restore them to their former glory: a land of living streams, public lands with hundreds of millions of beaver-built wetlands, prairie dog towns that increase the amount of rainfall that percolates to the groundwater, and forests that feed their fallen trees to the sea.

Book News Annotation:

An innovative history of American water-ways describing the symbiosis between water, land, and the natural processes which keep water clean and have been impeded by contemporary engineering. Outwater, an environmental engineer, describes her experiences with the Boston Harbor Clean-up project where she learned that industrial polluters are no longer the culprit in dirty water and where she began an investigation into the natural processes by which waterways cleaned themselves and how those processes can be restored in a new paradigm for water quality.
Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

A Natural History
Outwater, Alice
Basic Books
New York, NY
Hydraulic engineering
General science
Edition Number:
1st ed.
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Series Volume:
Publication Date:
9.13 x 6.13 in

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Geography » Water and Hydrology

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