Water: A Natural History describes the symbiosis between the country's water, the land from which it springs, and the life the two support. At the heart of the tale is the vision of the land as it was. This is the story of our coming to understand what should have been obvious from the beginning: engineering can depollute water, but healthy ...Read MoreWater: A Natural History describes the symbiosis between the country's water, the land from which it springs, and the life the two support. At the heart of the tale is the vision of the land as it was. This is the story of our coming to understand what should have been obvious from the beginning: engineering can depollute water, but healthy waterways are created by living systems. Illustrations.Read Less
Water, A Natural History is a comprehensive whole ecosystem viewpoint of water systems starting with beavers, which does seem startling in a book with the title Water. However it is craftily put together in a very interesting story about the history and significance of an individual animal in the formation of the landscape and I for one did not know that much about beavers. The book also incorporates a historical look at the changing landscape of the United States as different groups used the land for their own benefit. As the story shifts focus from the beavers to other topics it does so interchangeably and smoothly. I think this book should be required reading for any intro level hydrology class and portions of it for high schools all across the country. I?ve never read something that included entire systems so fully in such an enjoyable manner. I learned so much from this book! Overall, I could not more highly recommend this book !
Publishers Weekly, 1996-08-05 A generation after the Clean Water Act was passed, one third of our waters are still polluted, according to the author, and only 6% of contamination is caused by industry. Environmental engineer Outwater, who managed scum and sludge removal in the Boston Harbor cleanup, reaches back into our history to chart the changes in our waters. Once, a tenth of the total land area was beaver-built wetland; the beaver's decline caused the first major shift in the nation's water cycle. The depressions buffalo made on the ground and the holes dug by prairie dogs collected rain and runoff that seeped down to the water table; our waterways have been transformed by the loss of these keystone species. Outwater looks at grasslands and forests, artificial waterways, agriculture, aqueducts and toilet bowls, sewers and sludge (she gives a guided tour of a waste-treatment plant). She makes a strong case for restoring natural systems to public landsærepopulating beaver, bison and prairie dogs. This book is a valuable addition to environmental literature and to our understanding of water. (Oct.)
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