Sandra Postel

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The Virtuous Cycle of Water and Prosperity

Island Press

"Nothing is more important to life than water, and no one knows water better than Sandra Postel. Replenish is a wise, sobering, but ultimately hopeful book." —Elizabeth Kolbert

"Remarkable." —New York Times Book Review

"Clear-eyed treatise...Postel makes her case eloquently." —Booklist, starred review

"An informative, purposeful argument." —Kirkus

We spend billions of dollars on irrigation, dams, sanitation plants, and other feats of engineering to control water for our own prosperity. What if the answer was not control, but replenishment? Sandra Postel takes readers around the world to explore water projects that work with, rather than against, nature’s rhythms. Forest rehabilitation is safeguarding drinking water, farmers are planting cover crops to reduce polluted runoff, and “sponge cities” are capturing rainwater to curb urban flooding. Postel argues that efforts like these will be essential as we adjust to a hotter, wilder climate. Will we continue to fight the water cycle, endangering ourselves and the planet, or recognize our place in it and take advantage of the inherent services nature offers? 

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