Water scarcity is on everyone’s mind. Long taken for granted, water availability has entered the realm of economics, politics, and people’s food and lifestyle choices. But as anxiety mounts – even as a swath of California farmland has been left fallow and extremist groups worldwide exploit the desperation of people losing livelihoods to desertification – many are finding new routes to water security with key implications for food access, economic resilience, and climate change.
Water does not perish, nor require millions of years to form as do fossil fuels. However, water is always on the move. In this timely, important book, Judith D. Schwartz presents a refreshing perspective on water that transcends zero-sum thinking. By allying with the water cycle, we can revive lush, productive landscapes. Like the river in rural Zimbabwe that, thanks to restorative grazing, now flows miles further than in living memory. Or the food forest of oranges, pomegranates, and native fruit-bearing plants in Tucson, grown through harvesting urban wastewater. Or the mini-oasis in West Texas nourished by dew.
Animated by stories from around the globe, Water In Plain Sight is an inspiring reminder that fixing the future of our drying planet involves understanding what makes natural systems thrive.
Judith D. Schwartz is a journalist whose recent work looks at soil as a hub for multiple environmental, economic and social challenges-and solutions. She writes on this theme for numerous publications and speaks in venues around the world. Her 2013 book “Cows Save the Planet” was awarded a Nautilus Book Award Silver Prize for Sustainability and is among Booklist’s Top 10 Books On Sustainability.