Waterblogged.info’s summer reading list, pt. 2

Fun at the beach

By now you’ve devoured the five books that we recommended in Waterblogged.info’s summer reading list, Part 1. We imagine you staring out at the white beach and azure water and watching fellow vacationers as they swim, fish, snorkel, boat, water ski, jet ski, surf, sail, dig for clams, sing off-key to folk songs they wouldn’t be caught dead listening to, watch for whales and screech maniacally when they hallucinate one, and make languorous love on the cool sand at the water’s edge as the tidewater gently and rhythmically laps at their feet. We imagine you thinking, “Now what the hell am I going to do?”

Waterblogged.info rescues you from the dog-day doldrums with part 2 of our summer reading list. All available at Powell Books.

Water Follies

From the publisher’s comment: [Author Robert Glennon]. . .illustrate(s) the science of hydrology and the legal aspects of water use and conflicts. . .(and offers. . .stories — ranging from Down East Maine to San Antonio’s River Walk to Atlanta’s burgeoning suburbs — that clearly illustrate the array of problems caused by groundwater pumping. Each episode poses a conflict of values that reveals the complexity of how and why we use water. These poignant and sometimes perverse tales tell of human foibles including greed, stubbornness, and, especially, the unlimited human capacity to ignore reality. A great talk by Glennon on this YouTube video posted by the California Colloquium on Water.

Cadillac Desert

From publisher’s comments: Newly updated, this timely history of the struggle to discover and control water in the American West is a tale of rivers diverted and damned, political corruption and intrigue, billion-dollar battles over water rights, and economic and ecological disaster. Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award.


The Water Atlas

If a picture’s worth a thousand words, a well-made graphic–map, chart, table, or graph–may be worth, ummm. . . 50,000 words? From the publisher’s comments: Plentiful maps, graphs and tables illustrate the cycle of precipitation and condensation, the percentage of cropland watered by irrigation around the world and the way increasing use of chemicals in agriculture is destroying freshwater sources. A section called ‘Re-Shaping the Natural World’ examines the destructive role of dams and other water systems, while another section looks at the potential for international conflict over scarce water resources in regions such as the already volatile Middle East. [Published in 2004; some info dated, no doubt. Ed.]

Design for Water

Breaking from our long-standing tradition of simply whining about water problems, Waterblogged.info points you to a collection of diy alternative water collection methods. Publisher’s notes: In addition to rainwater, there are several affordable and accessible alternate sources, including cooling tower bleed-off water, air conditioning condensate, gray water, and fog collection. Design for Water is geared to providing those making development decisions and guidelines with the information they need to set up passive harvesting techniques. The book will especially appeal to engineers, landscape architects, municipal decision-makers, developers, and landowners.

Not a Drop to Drink

Hey everybody, let’s all agree that, from this date forward, nobody can use “Water, water, everywhere,” or “Not a drop to drink,” as a title for an article or book about water. Okay? More concise than some of the other overviews of water woes, this is a good introduction and offers potential activists advice on how to take action. From the publisher’s comments: In this straightforward, story-driven book, Ken Midkiff talks to crusty ranchers in Topeka, suited lawyers in Atlanta, and smooth-talking politicians in Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. Using regional and national case studies, he analyzes and presents the roots of the problem, and then says what we must do to solve it. [Emphasis ours. Ed.]

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