High and Dry: Meeting the Challenges of the World's Growing Dependence on Groundwater

High and Dry: Meeting the Challenges of the World's Growing Dependence on Groundwater

by William M. Alley, Rosemarie Alley


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An engaging call to understand and protect groundwater, the primary source of drinking water for almost half of the world’s population

Groundwater is essential for drinking water and food security. It provides enormous environmental benefits by keeping streams and rivers flowing. But a growing global population, widespread use of industrial chemicals, and climate change threaten this vital resource. Groundwater depletion and contamination has spread from isolated areas to many countries throughout the world. In this accessible and timely book, hydrology expert William M. Alley and science writer Rosemarie Alley sound the call to protect groundwater.
Drawing on examples from around the world, including case studies in the United States, Canada, Australia, India, and Sub-Saharan Africa, the authors examine groundwater from key scientific and socioeconomic perspectives. While addressing the serious nature of groundwater problems, the book includes stories of people who are making a difference in protecting this critical resource.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780300220384
Publisher: Yale University Press
Publication date: 02/21/2017
Pages: 304
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Director of science and technology for the National Ground Water Association, William M. Alley is a hydrology expert and authority on groundwater. Rosemarie Alley is a veteran science writer. They previously coauthored the book Too Hot to Touch, on nuclear waste.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

1 Beyond Rain 1

2 India's Silent Revolution 17

3 Arizona 29

4 The World's Poorest People 52

5 Not All Aquifers Are Created Equal 68

6 Who Owns Groundwater? 87

7 Streamflow Depletion 108

8 Water for Nature 130

9 That Sinking Feeling 151

10 Recharge and Recycling 167

11 Poisoning the Well 178

12 Pathogens 195

13 Arsenic 203

14 Fracking 217

15 Nitrate and Aquifer Protection 225

16 Transboundary Aquifers 236

17 Sharing the Common Pool 243

Notes 251

Further Reading 283

Index 285

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