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This title in other editions

Water Wars: Drought, Flood, Folly and the Politics of Thirst


Water Wars: Drought, Flood, Folly and the Politics of Thirst Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

"This is a wonderful book, a wake-up call of startling clarity and insight, with a flood of facts and anecdotes that place the abstract into riveting human perspective. I will never turn on the rap again without thinking about where water comes from and where it goes." (Ken Burns, producer and director of the Civil War, Baseball, and Jazz documentaries.)

The story of water is complex, with roots as deep as civilization itself, but what we hear about it today is simple and stark: the world's supply is in severe crisis. Even when we're not confronted with alarming news of another drought, we're reminded of environmental changes and a growing world population that threaten to turn water into a matter over which wars will be fought. Despite these urgent warnings, how many of us can say we understand the elemental forces that brought us to such a precarious state, or what we might do to get out of it?

Taking us on a world tour of the most hotly contested water climates, and introducing us to some of the most passionate advocates to emerge from them, Diane Raines Ward gives us a compelling account of where we've come from, and where we need to go. Why is the Fertile Crescent, historically one of the most lush places on earth, fast becoming a region of scarcity? What do Dutch watermen, steeped in their centuries-old, folkloric battle to protect their coasts, know about rising seas that we don't? Why are certain environmentalists so eager to dismantle thousands of years' worth of engineered solutions to distributing water? And how is it that the very technology vilified by conservationists may be the only thing that can save us? Through a narrative that's breathtakingly clear and filled with fresh insight, Ward answers these and other paradoxical questions, and gives us a bold perspective on a subject to which our fate is inextricably bound.

Book News Annotation:

Ward (co-director of a nonprofit organization working for conservation efforts in India) visits some of the controversies surrounding the use and management of water and water related infrastructure in Holland, California, Egypt, and other imperiled regions. She is not advancing any one particular argument, but rather looking at a variety of problems such as big dams, flooding, regional conflict over water rights, and irrigation.
Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

About the Author

Diane Raines Ward is the author, with her husband Geoffrey C. Ward, of Tiger-Wallahs: Encounters with the Men Who Tried to Save the Greatest of the Great Cats.

Product Details

Drought, Flood, and the Politics of Thirst
Ward, Diane Raines
Riverhead Hardcover
New York
Environmental Conservation & Protection
Hydraulic engineering
International Relations - General
Environmental Conservation & Protection - General
General Fiction
Edition Number:
Edition Description:
Series Volume:
Publication Date:
August 2002
Grade Level:
from 12
9.3 x 6.36 x 1.02 in 1.2 lb
Age Level:
from 18

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Geography » Water and Hydrology
History and Social Science » Politics » United States » Foreign Policy
Science and Mathematics » Environmental Studies » General

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