The Last Oasis: Facing Water Scarcity

Overview

As we approach the twenty-first century, we are entering a new era-an era of water scarcity.
We have taken for granted seemingly endless supplies of water flowing from reservoirs wells, and diversion projects; access to water has been key to food security, industrialization, and the growth of cities. In this book from the Worldwatch Institute, Sandra Postel explains that decades of profligacy and mismanagement of the world's water resources have produced signs of shortages and ...

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The Last Oasis: Facing Water Scarcity

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Overview

As we approach the twenty-first century, we are entering a new era-an era of water scarcity.
We have taken for granted seemingly endless supplies of water flowing from reservoirs wells, and diversion projects; access to water has been key to food security, industrialization, and the growth of cities. In this book from the Worldwatch Institute, Sandra Postel explains that decades of profligacy and mismanagement of the world's water resources have produced signs of shortages and environmental destruction. She writes with authority and clarity of the limits-ecological, economic, and political-of this vital natural resource. She explores the potential for conflict over water between nations, and between urban and rural residents. And she offers a sensible way out of such struggles. Last Oasis makes clear that the technologies and know-how exist to increase the productivity of every liter of water. But citizens must first understand the issues and insist on policies, laws, and institutions that promote the sustainable use of water.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Postel, vice president for research of the Worldwatch Institute, examines the worldwide limits--ecological, economic, and political--of water, and discloses existing methods to make water go further, decreasing the likelihood of both scarcity and conflict. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
WomanSource Catalog & Review: Tools for Connecting the Community for Women
Imagine America going to war over water. Don't think it will ever happen? Think again. Water scarcity is a real problem, one which is growing exponentially. That fact water seems so readily available and inexpensive (the "illusion of plenty" as the author states it), and people's overuse and lack of respect towards this life-sustaining resource are only some of the causes for the water crisis. Sandra Postel has written a stunning account which discloses the atrocious amount of neglect and mismanagement of water. Fortunately, there are solutions which offer hope for restoring and sustaining our essential lifeline, all of which are economically and environmentally friendly. Last Oasis is a red flag to farmers, industry and families, warning us that if the alternatives are not enacted, we are, most assuredly, destined for a worldwide crisis.
—SH
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393317442
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 6/28/1997
  • Series: Worldwatch Environmental Alert Series
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 191
  • Sales rank: 984,450
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Sandra Postel lives in Amherst, Massachusetts, where she directs the Global Water Policy Project. She is a Pew Fellow in Conservation and the Environment and a former vice president for research at the Worldwatch Institute. Her previous book, Last Oasis, now appears in eight languages and was the basis for a PBS television documentary.

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Table of Contents

Introduction to the New Edition
Acknowledgments
1 An Illusion of Plenty 17
2 Signs of Scarcity 27
3 Engineering's Promise 38
4 Bread and Water 48
5 Paradise Lost 60
6 Hydropolitics 73
7 A World Heating Up 87
8 Thrifty Irrigation 99
9 Small-Scale Solutions 114
10 Wastewater No More 126
11 Industrial Recycling 136
12 Conserving in Cities 146
13 Pricing, Markets, and Regulations 165
14 A Water Ethic 183
Notes 193
Index 229
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