A hopeful journey around the world and across time, illuminating
better ways to live with water.
Nearly every human
endeavor on the planet was conceived and constructed with a
relatively stable climate in mind. But as new climate disasters
remind us every day, our world is not stable—and it is changing in
ways that expose the deep dysfunction of our relationship with water.
Increasingly severe and frequent floods and droughts inevitably spur
calls for higher levees, bigger drains, and longer aqueducts. But as
we grapple with extreme weather, a hard truth is emerging: our
development, including concrete infrastructure designed to control
water, is actually exacerbating our problems. Because sooner or
later, water always wins.
In this quietly
radical book, science journalist Erica Gies introduces us to
innovators in what she calls the Slow Water movement who start by
asking a revolutionary question: What does water want? Using close
observation, historical research, and cutting-edge science, these
experts in hydrology, restoration ecology, engineering, and urban
planning are already transforming our relationship with water.
tend to speed water away, erasing its slow phases on the land. Gies
reminds us that water’s true nature is to flex with the rhythms of
the earth: the slow phases absorb floods, store water for droughts,
and feed natural systems. Figuring out what water wants—and
accommodating its desires within our human landscapes—is now a
crucial survival strategy. By putting these new approaches to the
test, innovators in the Slow Water movement are reshaping the future.