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Dry: Life without Water

By: Ehsan Masood and Daniel Schaffer

192 pages, 85 col illus

Harvard University Press

Hardback | May 2006 | #158652 | ISBN: 0674022246
Availability: Usually dispatched within 4 days Details
NHBS Price: £22.95 $30/€25 approx

About this book

Water is in the air we breathe and beneath the ground we walk on. The very substance of life, it makes up as much as 60 percent of the human body. And yet, for one billion people there is such a thing as life without water. These are the people we meet in Dry--those who live in the dry lands of Africa, Asia, the Pacific, and the Americas, eking out an existence at once remarkable and mundane between craggy mountains, near oases, or close to well-springs surrounded by cracked earth or shifting sands.

From the ingenuity of the highland people of Chile's Atacama desert who use giant nets to capture water from clouds of fog, to the ancient wisdom that protects the grazing lands of Kenya's Masai, this beautifully illustrated book tells the diverse stories about people in very hot, very cold, or very high places, who spend their lives collecting, chasing, piping, and trapping the water that life requires--all the while taking great care that no form of life, plant or animal, benefits at the expense of another.

In a world of finite resources, where the struggle for shrinking sources of water intensifies daily, these stories--collected over three years by photographers, writers, and scientists from four continents--are a source of hope and wonder. This book contains a wealth of information and images designed to further awareness of the vast array of life that is carried on precariously yet proudly on the earth's dryest lands.

Forty percent of the world's land surface and more than half the land surface of the developing world is arid. Sixteen stories from Africa, Asia, Central and South America, and the Middle East show how more than a billion people who live in these extreme hot, cold, or high places cope with the lack of water and other challenges to survival...Thoughtfully written with an impressive artistic layout and many poignant photographs, this is a book that deserves an international audience.--Phaedra Greenwood"Santa Fe New Mexican" (11/19/2006)

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Ehsan Masood is a London-based science journalist and consultant to the Science and Development Network. Daniel Schaffer is the Public Information Officer for the Academy of Sciences of the Developing Third World.

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