368 pages, no illustrations
Some of the world's largest rivers - the Nile, the Yellow River and the Indus - no longer reach the sea. Exhausted by the demand of humans to irrigate crops, fill taps and generate hydroelectricity, they trickle into the sand. And the wells are drying up too. We are emptying ancient reserves of underground water and most will never naturally refill. Even England faces a crisis: the South-East has less water per capita than Ethiopia or Sudan and our demand for water is accelerating but it is raining less.
As landscapes shrivel, conflicts over water grow. So is there hope? Yes - but only if we revolutionise the way we treat water. Terrifying about the consequences if governments fail to act, Pearce is also truly empowering in his advocacy of the ways in which we all need to change.
Fred Pearce is an artist with a pen, writing beautifully and movingly about an emerging crisis that will galvanize the world's attention. - James Speth, ex head of blue-chip World Resources Institute and the UN Development Programme, and now dean of Yale School of Environmental Studies:"
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