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The Green Life: Book Roundup Wednesday: Water Reads

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August 18, 2010

Book Roundup Wednesday: Water Reads

Books about environmentalism Every Wednesday, we review a selection of new and upcoming books addressing a specific aspect of environmentalism. This week, we're recommending books about water issues.

Bottled and Sold: The Story Behind Our Obsession with Bottled Water (by Peter H. Gleick, $27, Island Press, Apr. 2010): After reading this book, drinking from a bottle of water will feel like a capital offense. Gleick’s intense but educated view of the bottled-waterconundrum is definitely worth a read. He discusses bottled water's selling power and how its unnecessary existence is a reflection of our wasteful society. This fascinating book is difficult to put down, for it's an intriguing and well-written look into the political and psychological motives for the commodifying of water.

Aquiferious (by Margaret Ross Tolbert, $45, Fidelity Press, 2010): Artist Margaret Ross Tolbert’s beautiful book takes readers on a journey through 12 natural springs in Florida though. Breathtaking photographs, as well as poems and paintings flood these pages, along with plenty of scientific information from contributing writers about the Floridian aquifer.

The Green Blue Book: The Simple Water-Savings Guide to Everything in Your Life (by Thomas M. Kostigen, $17, Rodale, Mar. 2010): In this helpful book of water-conservation tips, the author taps into hundreds of ways to save water, from simple actions like refraining from over-watering lawns to unique ideas such as swimming in pools' middle lanes to avoid deck splash. The most intriguing aspect of Kostigen’s book is his concept of “virtual water,” which refers to water embedded in consumer products such as underwear and watches – a discussion the author complements with a handy water-footprint calculator and a virtual water-content chart.

Running Out of Water: The Looming Crisis and Solutions to Conserve Our Most Precious Resource (by Peter Rogers and Susan Leal, $25, Palgrave Macmillan, Aug. 2010): Providing a particularly compelling argument for reducing water use, this fact-packed book about  overconsumption deals a sobering blow to those who take the “renewable but finite” resource for granted. The authors discuss the possibility of a water crisis due to wastefulness, but also offer solutions to curb and counteract overuse via new technologies, grassroots activism, and, of course, conservation.

The Healing Power of Water: The New Science of Potentizing the World’s Most Vital Resource (by Ulrich Holst, $17, Healing Arts Press, Apr. 2010): For a more scientific overview of water, how it sustains life, and why it’s important to purify and conserve it, pick up German water expert Ulrich Holst’s book about rejuvenating the water supply. It opens with a quick overview of water history, types, and notable researchers, then quickly expands into a discussion of potable-water scarcity and society’s need to develop and implement new technologies to clean the supply – safeguarding the precious resource for future generations.

--Sarah A. Henderson

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