Thursday, July 3, 2008
When the Rivers Run Dry Water: The Defining Crisis of the Twenty-first Century / Fred Pearce -- Boston: Beacon Press, 2006.
Pearce's When the Rivers Run Dry is a nice introduction to hydrological problems around the world. From ground water to aquifers, from sea water to rain water, Pearce describes attempt to capture and use a resource that is in ever-increasing demand. Besides giving the impression that everything hydrologists have done in the past 150 years was a mistake, Pearce drive homes the maxim, "water runs up hill to money," meaning that those with money always have the power to acquire water at whatever cost to others or the environment. It's a sobering read with one hopeful note: "We never destroy water...Somewhere, sometime, it will return, purged and fresh."