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Whose Water is It?: The Unquenchable Thirst of a Water-hungry World

Douglas Jehl, Bernadette McDonald

38 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0792273753 / ISBN 13: 9780792273752
Published by National Geographic Books 2004, 2004
New Condition: New Soft cover
From Robin Summers (Aldeburgh, United Kingdom)

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Whose Water is It?: The Unquenchable Thirst ...

Publisher: National Geographic Books 2004

Publication Date: 2004

Binding: Soft cover

Book Condition:New

About this title


Addressing threats to the world's water supply, this collection of essays by noted scientists, activists, water managers, and environmental writers discusses the growing problem of the lack of Earth's most precious natural resource, examines key issues confronting the world's water supply today, and offers suggestions on how to alleviate the problem. Reprint.


Each day at least 10,000 people worldwide die from disease-infected water. This is just one of the startling statistics contained in this collection of 13 essays, which address a wide variety of water-related issues, including global scarcity, pollution, privatization, poor distribution, and desalinization. In many parts of the world, useable fresh water (about 1% of the planet's total) is a resource more valuable than oil and even more essential to life. This book makes clear the sobering connection between inadequate clean water and poverty and the potential for increasing international conflicts (especially in parched places such as Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa), as well as some of the steps that might be taken to alleviate these problems: conservation, technological innovation, and effective cross-boundary water management. Its contributors--scientists, professors, journalists, and politicians--pile on one grim statistic after another, often repeating material from earlier chapters, which tends to dull what ultimately is a very compelling argument: that we use too much water, waste it foolishly, and degrade the environment by draining underground aquifers faster than they can be replenished.

By 2015, some 3 billion people will live in countries where fresh water is in short supply; by 2050, the number could be as high as 7 billion. Numbers this large are difficult to comprehend, which is why the most specific examples are the most horrifying. Consider the Taliban’s unauthorized construction of a dam on the Helmand River in eastern Afghanistan in the 1990s and its effect on neighboring Iran, where a 4,000-square-kilometer lake has been sucked bone-dry. All fish have disappeared and so has the village that until recently depended on catching them. What remains is an exposed lakebed, rapidly being covered by dunes from frequent sandstorms. A modest example maybe, but a particularly haunting symbol for a growing global problem. --Keith Moerer

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