For centuries, we have disrupted the natural water cycle in an effort to control water for our own prosperity. Every year, recovery from droughts and floods costs billions of dollars, and we spend billions more on irrigation, dams, sanitation plants, and other feats of engineering.
We have reached a tipping point: massive engineering is not only harming the environment, but unravelling social and political stability. What if the answer was not control of the water cycle, but replenishment?
Sandra Postel takes readers around the world to explore water projects that work with, rather than against, nature’s rhythms.
About the Author
Sandra Postel is director of the Global Water Policy Project and co-creator of Change the Course, which has restored billions of gallons of water to depleted rivers and wetlands. For six years, she served as Freshwater Fellow of the National Geographic Society. Postel is author of Pillar of Sand: Can the Irrigation Miracle Last? and Last Oasis: Facing Water Scarcity. Her work has appeared in Science, Natural History, and Best American Science and Nature Writing.
* Includes reference to Australian case studies and information.
"Postel's Replenish is a great book on so many levels, full of detail-rich storytelling, authentic accounts from communities around the globe, and thorough research. Replenish tells a hopeful story about the future of water security that avoids pitting humans against nature. Instead, Postel points to practical, saleable projects where people, governments, businesses, and environments can all benefit."--Mark R. Tercek, President and CEO, The Nature Conservancy and author of Nature's Fortune: How Business and Society Thrive By Investing in Nature
"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, author of The Sixth Extinction
"In Replenish, Sandra Postel has provided an eloquent explanation of the global water cycle's role in society and ecosystems, an urgent plea for water conservation, and a host of examples of how real people around the world are getting it done. Everybody who wants to understand environmental sustainability and how to achieve it should read this book."--John P. Holdren, Professor of Environmental Science and Policy, Harvard University, and former Director, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy
"In Replenish, Sandra Postel travels the world to reveal both our biggest water challenges and the new, smart solutions needed for the 21st century. Replenish is not just restorative as its title implies; it is also wonderfully refreshing and deeply satisfying."--Brad Udall, Senior Water and Climate Scientist/Scholar, Colorado Water Institute, Colorado State University
"A remarkable story of rejuvenation."--New York Times Book Review
"Eschewing mere hand-wringing about climate change, this clear-eyed treatise hops around the world outlining real-world solutions that are already being implemented to affect change on the ground...Postel makes her case eloquently...Such inspirational examples, supplemented by an efficient overview of water-conservation ideas...give cause to celebrate small pockets of hope in our fight to save the planet's precious and vulnerable freshwater."--Booklist, starred review
"An informative, purposeful argument about why we must accept the moral as well as practical responsibility of water stewardship."--Kirkus
"Dams, levees, canals: humanity's battle with water is age-old...Sandra Postel's superb study demonstrates how working with wetlands and watersheds can turn that tide. Replenish cites scores of sustainable wins, from permeable pavements that control storm water in Kansas City, Missouri, to groundwater replenishment in rural Rajasthan, India."--Nature
"Heartening and inspiring...[Postel]'s strong narrative voice and reporter's instinct to buttress her story through quotes and firsthand accounts from affected people around the world make Replenish as readable as it is informative."--Civil Engineering
"To write this impressive book Postel has done an enormous amount of research...a very readable book for anyone interested in the topic."--Seattle Book Review
"Provocative and intriguing...Replenish presents us with countless innovative local, national and international solutions."--Resurgence & Ecologist