Synopses & Reviews
De Villiers reports from hot spots as diverse as China, Las Vegas and the Middle East, where he has crafted a powerful narrative about the lifeblood of civilizations, the global consequences of human thirst, and solutions that may avert the coming water wars. 2 maps.
In his award-winning book WATER, Marq de Villiers provides an eye-opening account of how we are using, misusing, and abusing our planet's most vital resource. Encompassing ecological, historical, and cultural perspectives, de Villiers reports from hot spots as diverse as China, Las Vegas, and the Middle East, where swelling populations and unchecked development have stressed fresh water supplies nearly beyond remedy. Political struggles for control of water rage around the globe, and rampant pollution daily poses dire ecological theats. With one eye on these looming crises and the other on the history of our dependence on our planet's most precious commodity, de Villiers has crafted a powerful narrative about the lifeblood of civilizations that will be "a wake-up call for concerned citizens, environmentalists, policymakers, and water drinkers everywhere" (Publishers Weekly).
About the Author
Marq de Villiers is the author of six books on exploration, history, politics, and travel, including INTO AFRICE: A JOURNEY THROUGH THE ANCIENT EMPIRES and WITH TRIBE DREAMING, his award-winning memoir of growing up in South Africa. He resides in Nove Scotia, Canada.
Table of Contents
Contents acknowledgments / viii preface / xiii Part I The Where, What, and How Much of the Water World 1 /Water in Peril / 3 Is the crisis looming,or has it already loomed?
2 / The Natural Dispensation / 27 Who has how much,and whos running out?
3 /Water in History / 46 Some things never change: how humans have always discovered, diverted, accumulated, regulated, hoarded,and misused water Part II Remaking the Water World 4 / Climate, Weather, and Water / 67 Are we changing the ﬁrst, and will changes to the other two necessarily follow?
5 / Unnatural Selection / 85 Contamination, degradation, pollution, and other human gifts to the hydrosphere 6 / The Aral Sea / 105 An object lesson in the principle of unforeseen consequences 7 / To Give a Dam / 117 Dams are clean, safe, and store water for use in bad years, so why have they suddenly become anathema?
8 / The Problem with Irrigation / 136 Irrigated lands are shrinking, and irrigation is joining dams on an ecologists hit list. Why?
9 / Shrinking Aquifers / 146 If water mines ever run out, what then?
10 / The Reengineered River / 166 If you turn a river into a sewer, you can turn it back into a river again Part III The Politics of Water 11 / The Middle East / 185 If the water burden really is a zero-sum game, how do we get past the arithmetic?
12 / The Tigris-Euphrates System / 204 Shoot an arrow of peace into the air, and get a quiverful of suspicions and paranoias in return 13 / The Nile / 216 With Egypt adding another million people every nine months, demand is already in critical conﬂict with supply. Another zero-sum game?
14 / The United States and Its Neighbors / 231 In the ménage r trois of Canada, Mexico, and the United States, who is the seducer and who the seducee?
15 / The Chinese Dilemma / 263 China is not running out of water, except in places where water is needed most Part IV What Is to Be Done?
16 / Solutions and Manifestos / 275 If youre short of water, the choices are stark: conservation, technological invention, or the politics of violence notes / 317 bibliography / 331 index / 339