When the Rivers Run Dry: What Happens when Our Water Runs Out?

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Eden Project Books, Jan 1, 2006 - Desertification - 368 pages
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Do you know how much water you use each day - not just the 5 litres you may drink, or the 150 litres you guzzle to cook, wash, and flush the toilet with. It takes around 500 litres of water to grow the wheat to produce a loaf of bread. A staggering 11,000 litres to feed enough cows to make a quarter-pound hamburger. You could take 25 baths in the water it takes to grow the cotton for just one T-shirt... The South East of Britain has less water per capita than the Sudan or Ethiopia and while there is less and less rain our demand grows. Slowly but surely we're draining our rivers and hillside springs dry. Much more alarming, we import huge volumes of water in our dockside deliveries of wheat, beef, rice... And while our water crisis is relatively tranquil, it is repeated - often in vastly more dangerous form - across the world.

That we face a world-wide crisis is no idle threat. Pearce's 15-year research into water issues has taken him all over the world. His vivid reportage reveals the personal stories behind failing rivers, barren fields, desertification, floods and water wars. His book gives a clear and terrifying picture of the consequences if no remedial action is taken, but also a brilliantly challenging explanation of the steps we must take to ensure the 'blue revolution' the world desperately needs.

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About the author (2006)

Fred Pearce was born and educated in the UK He studied Geography at Cambridge University and has since reported on environment, science and development issues from 54 countries. He is a regular broadcaster on radio and TV, with interview credits from Today to Richard and Judy to the Open University. Fred lives in London.

"Fred Pearce is an artist with a pen, writing beautifully and movingly

about an emerging crisis that will galvanize the world's attention." - James Speth, ex head of blue-chip World Resources Institute and the UN

Development Programme, and now dean of Yale School of Environmental


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