Dry: Life Without Water

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Harvard University Press, 2006 - Nature - 192 pages
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Water is in the air we breathe and beneath the ground we walk on. The very substance of life, it makes up as much as 60 percent of the human body. And yet, for one billion people there is such a thing as life without water. These are the people we meet in Dry--those who live in the dry lands of Africa, Asia, the Pacific, and the Americas, eking out an existence at once remarkable and mundane between craggy mountains, near oases, or close to well-springs surrounded by cracked earth or shifting sands.

From the ingenuity of the highland people of Chile's Atacama desert who use giant nets to capture water from clouds of fog, to the ancient wisdom that protects the grazing lands of Kenya's Masai, this beautifully illustrated book tells the diverse stories about people in very hot, very cold, or very high places, who spend their lives collecting, chasing, piping, and trapping the water that life requires--all the while taking great care that no form of life, plant or animal, benefits at the expense of another.

In a world of finite resources, where the struggle for shrinking sources of water intensifies daily, these stories--collected over three years by photographers, writers, and scientists from four continents--are a source of hope and wonder. This book contains a wealth of information and images designed to further awareness of the vast array of life that is carried on precariously yet proudly on the earth's dryest lands.

 

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Contents

Introduction
8
Why Dry?
12
Sudans camel healers
16
Burkina Fasos forest nurseries
26
Innovation in Namibia
36
Wetland conservation the Maasai
48
Green and dry in China
60
Droughtproofing with a difference in India
70
Moving mountains in Mexico
120
Going for gold in the Andes
130
Saving Egypts songbird
142
Reclaiming Jordans Badia
154
The wisdom of Moroccos women
166
Omans rose gardens
176
Author biographies
188
Further reading
189

Pakistans dams miracle
80
High and dry in Nepal
90
Chiles fog catchers
98
New life for Brazils goat town
110
Index
190
Acknowledgements Picture credits
192
Copyright

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About the author (2006)

Ehsan Masood is a London-based science journalist and consultant to the Science and Development Network.

Daniel Schaffer is the Public Information Officer for the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World (TWAS).

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