Fresh Water / Edition 2

Hardcover (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $1.99
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 92%)
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (26) from $1.99   
  • New (5) from $21.54   
  • Used (21) from $1.99   


With the precision of the professional scientist and the passion of the dedicated amateur, E. C. Pielou conducts a guided tour of fresh water on its course through the natural world. When rain sinks into the ground, how far and fast does it flow underground, and where does it return to the surface? How quickly does water evaporate from lakes and forests to create clouds? What happens when lakes and streams freeze? Does fresh water become naturally contaminated? Pielou's fascination with fresh water gives us a "natural history" that is as remarkable and surprising as the lives of plants and animals.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Toronto Globe and Mail
Pielou writes like an enthusiastic teacher who has lost none of her curiosity about her subject. . . . Dip into Fresh Water. It will both stimulate and satisfy as only good natural history can.
Fred Pearce
A wonderful naturall history of one of life's necessities, a refreshing break from the grand theory and special pleading of many a science book....Read it.
New Scientist
Library Journal
Our planet is composed primarily of water, much of which is the ocean and not the subject of this book. Naturalist Pielou (A Naturalist's Guide to the Arctic, LJ 11/1/94) concentrates on fresh water (usable by humans), which is a much smaller resource. Pielou describes the natural history of fresh water--where it comes from, where it goes, and how it moves under and over the earth and into the atmosphere. Even though scientists now believe that water is being added to our environment by "snowball" comets entering our atmosphere, the world's supply of fresh water is dwindling--and a shortage of usable fresh water ultimately limits population growth. Pielou's book would make an excellent textbook for any college class studying water. However, while the text is highly informative, it will not appeal to the average reader because of its technical nature. Recommended for academic libraries only.--Gloria Maxwell, Kansas City P.L., KS
Presents a natural history of fresh water, exploring the science and wonder of water in a narrative, jargon-free fashion. Describes fresh water in all its forms, with chapters on the water cycle, groundwater, flowing water, ice and snow, dams, wetlands, and microscopic life. Includes hand-drawn b&w diagrams. For students and general readers. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
Kirkus Reviews
A crystal-clear introduction to the physics, character, and exquisite grace of fresh water, from naturalist Pielou (After the Ice Age, not reviewed). Fresh waterþwithout which there would be no human lifeþis a paltry 2.6 percent of Earth's total water, and then only 30 percent of that is in cycle, shapeshifting through rain and snow to stream and aquifer, evaporating, falling, flowing. Pielou endeavors to bring the natural history of fresh water to life, and she does so admirably. Her book takes its broad circularity from the water cycle, starting with how groundwater gets underground, what it is doing down there, how it surfaces (including her nifty conceit that we are all walking on water). She moves on to stream morphology and how rivers shape the land and why they course rather than sink; the where and why of lakes and their watery architecture; and the hydrological, ecological, and biological wonder worlds of wetlandsþstring bogs, ribbed fens, wet meadows, prairie sloughs ("as always with wetlands, there's no shortage of names"). She explores the mechanics of ice and the dynamics of autumn freeze and spring breakup; the circumstantial advantagesþand disadvantagesþof reservoirs, dams, and diversion projects. Thence she returns to the atmosphereþvapor, clouds, fogþboth closing and restarting the cycle. There is a satisfyingly vast amount of detail in these pages, and Pielou never shies from scientific and technical explanations, but she knows how to coax the art out of þpotential evapotranspiration = precipitation + withdrawal + deficitþ with a poet's economy of means, carefully sprinkling hydrology's word-songs for effect. Thereis also much here for gardeners, who will appreciate an understanding of wilting points and moisture budgets. Pielou writes with clarity and a feel for words, and her affection for the subject at hand is immediately and infectiously communicated to readers. (81 b&w illustrations)
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780226668154
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press
  • Publication date: 10/28/1998
  • Edition description: 1
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 175
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Table of Contents

Ch. 1 The Water Cycle 1
Ch. 2 Water below the Ground: Groundwater 5
Ch. 3 Groundwater in Use 31
Ch. 4 Water below the Ground: Vadose Water 56
Ch. 5 Flowing Water: Rivers and Streams 80
Ch. 6 Rivers at Work 109
Ch. 7 Lakes 149
Ch. 8 When Water Freezes 185
Ch. 9 Dams, Diversions, and Reservoirs 205
Ch. 10 Wetlands 214
Ch. 11 Microscopic Life 227
Ch. 12 Water in the Atmosphere: Vapor, Clouds, Rain, and Snow 238
Notes 247
Index 269
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 1 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 9, 2005

    Fresh Water! Diminishing! Learn all about Water Travels

    Fresh Water Review Splash! The sound water makes as a rock is thrown into a lake. Water makes many noises, considering that Earth¿s surface is made up of approximately 70% water. Water can come in several different forms such as lakes, oceans, ponds, rivers, rain, streams, and vapor. E.C. Pielou conveys many of these points throughout a book called `Fresh Water¿. Considering that she is a former professor of mathematical ecology at Dalhousie University, and is the heir of the Lawson medal of the Canadian Botanical Association and the Eminent Ecologist Award of the Ecological Society of America, I would believe that she knows her information on this book. In `Fresh Water¿, E. C. Pielou portrayed the natural history of this fundamental element of the genuine world. The idea of having a history lesson of its own, she illustrates, water is as attractive and as valuable of a study as plants and animals species that naturalists regularly restricts themselves to. These water forms are expressed in explicit detail throughout the reading of `Fresh Water¿ by E. C. Pielou. E. C. Pielou communicates her knowledge on the way water is shown on Earth. The author uses very informative tactics, detailed steps, and great sources to support his argument. With her point of view towards water, it leads me to highly recommend this book because of the creditable sources, and the general, yet important information about water. The author makes the reader feel comfortable throughout the discovery of water. She begins by renewing the basics of how water keeps on replenishing the bodies of water. The step by step diagrams shows the procedure refreshing the mind from early elementary science class. With the basics covered, the author brings the reader into more relevant issues that I found very important. She also tells the reader a vital fact on how water circulates. The author explains, ¿It ranges from minutes or hours, as when a rainstorm blows inland from the sea, to thousands of years, the time during which a water drop may be frozen into a glacier. Indeed, there isn¿t a sharp distinction between circulating and noncirculating water: given enough time- hundreds of thousands, or millions, of years- all water circulates¿ (p.2). The author schools the reader on how the water is stored underground, frozen in polar ice caps, and trapped within the Earth¿s core. She then explains the information about the water storage then demonstrates using an illustration on how the water works. Without the author¿s diagrams, I would try to dig up my backyard to see whether water is really stored underground. Through her diagrams and her writing help the reader learn more abut water and how it is around the world in many forms. E.C. Pielou use easy to understand information, which is the key to learning any new topic. E.C. Pielou uses clear diction to explain her language to get the facts across. She tries her best not to bore the reader by adding informative comments about the creatures living in the water. She explains to the reader how important it is to recycle, to preserve the water. By preserving the water, the water will be clean fresh water for animals in the future, to drink without the pollutants. She also notifies the significance of water in everyday society, whether the water plays the role of a place for animals to live, drinking water, or the role of humidity to dehydrate and form condensed vapors into the atmosphere. The writer, furthermore, acknowledges the way water is a part of the environment. How it plays the position in the ecosystem, thus bringing nutrients into dams and canals for animals and bacteria to feed on. She shows that with fresh water, the environment can function normally to let life grow and feed as intended. Pielou is a great author, using honorable sources of books, encyclopedias, magazines, newspaper articles (that are relevant) and journals to support her idea laid

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)