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Chasing Water

Water scarcity is spreading and intensifying in many regions of the world, with dire consequences for local communities, economies, and freshwater ecosystems. Current approaches tend to rely on policies crafted at the state or national level, which on their own have proved insufficient to arrest water scarcity. To be durable and effective, water plans must be informed by the culture, economics, and varied needs of affected community members. International water expert Brian Richter argues that sustainable water sharing in the twenty-first century can only happen through open, democratic dialogue and local collective action. In Chasing Water, Richter tells a cohesive and complete story of water scarcity: where it is happening, what is causing it, and how it can be addressed. Through his engaging and non-technical style, he strips away the complexities of water management to its bare essentials, providing information and practical examples that will empower community leaders, activists, and students to develop successful and long-lasting water programmes. Chasing Water will provide local stakeholders with the tools and knowledge they need to take an active role in the watershed-based planning and implementation that are essential for water supplies to remain sustainable in perpetuity.
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About the Author

A global leader in river science and conservation for more than twenty-five years, Brian Richter is Director of Global Freshwater Strategies for The Nature Conservancy, an international conservation organisation, where he promotes sustainable water use and management with governments, corporations, and local communities. Brian has consulted on more than 120 water projects worldwide and serves as a water advisor to some of the world's largest corporations, investment banks, and the United Nations. He is coauthor, with Sandra Postel, of Rivers for Life: Managing Water for Humans and Nature.


"With clarity and vision, Brian Richter has written the perfect primer on water scarcity--what it is, where it exists, and what we can do about it. It will be of immense value to students, professors, policymakers, and anyone interested in creating a more secure water future."--Sandra Postel "Freshwater Fellow, National Geographic Society " "How the global community manages and cares for this most precious resource will be one of the most urgent questions in the twenty-first century. This powerful and absorbing book offers principles for citizen-empowered water governance and stewardship that integrate broad societal values. This is an indispensable book for policy makers and citizens of the world." --Gavin Power "Executive Director, United Nations CEO Water Mandate " "Chasing Water is a must read for all river enthusiasts and seekers of practical solutions. Immensely readable and intriguing, this book will awaken your senses, provoke you to think deeply about the choices we make, and give you tools to carve a more sustainable future. Don't miss it!" --Nicole Silk "President, River Network " "Chasing Water is a cogent, hopeful vision of achieving water sustainability for humans and aquatic ecosystems alike, from a global expert on freshwater policy and conservation science. Richter's sustainability principles and case studies illustrating democratic water governance inspire us to seek collective solutions for seemingly intractable water management challenges." --LeRoy Poff "Professor of Biology, Colorado State University " "Richter distills the complex global dynamic of expanding water scarcity into an eloquent personal narrative that explains the challenges and offers practical tools to tackle them. With straightforward solutions that apply equally to the southwestern United States and sub-Saharan Africa, Richter empowers his readers and inspires action. Readers from many backgrounds will benefit from this book, and I count myself among them." --Michael McClain "Professor, UNESCO-IHE Institute of Water Education, Delft, The Netherlands "

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