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When the Rivers Run Dry

When the Rivers Run Dry By Fred Pearce

This book urges the world to wake up the water crisis that facing us all. Through the personal stories behind failing rivers, barren fields, desertification, floods and water wars it takes us on a journey through a hugely important and complex subject.

But it’s not all bad news as the story moves on to discuss the steps we must take to stop things getting any worse. Once again, it’s not about what we can’t do, it’s about what we can!

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If ever a book has been written that demands to be read it is this one. This is that rare thing - a journey through a hugely important and complex subject in the company of a natural storyteller who makes you feel intelligent. - Tim Smit


Do you know how much water you use each day – not just the 5 litres you may drink, or the 150 litres you guzzle to cook, wash, and flush the toilet with. It takes around 500 litres of water to grow the wheat to produce a loaf of bread. A staggering 11,000 litres to feed enough cows to make a quarter-pound hamburger. You could take 25 baths in the water it takes to grow the cotton for just one T-shirt.

The South East of Britain has less water per capita than the Sudan or Ethiopia and while there is less and less rain our demand grows. Slowly but surely we’re draining our rivers and hillside springs dry. Much more alarming, we import huge volumes of water in our dockside deliveries of wheat, beef, rice. And while our water crisis is relatively tranquil, it is repeated – often in vastly more dangerous form – across the world.

That we face a world-wide crisis is no idle threat. Pearce’s 15-year research into water issues has taken him all over the world. His vivid reportage reveals the personal stories behind failing rivers, barren fields, desertification, floods and water wars. His book gives a clear and terrifying picture of the consequences if no remedial action is taken, but also a brilliantly challenging explanation of the steps we must take to ensure the ‘blue revolution’ the world desperately needs.


Of all the travel books I have ever read this is the most frightening, the most inspiring and the most important...A book every politician must be made to read and understand. - David Bellamy

Environmental journalist Fred Pearce's book, When the Rivers Run Dry could not be better timed - Robin McKie, The Observer

...Pearce argues powerfully that unless mankind can rethink its whole attitude towards the use and misuse of resource, the consequence could be famine, pestilence and even war for huge numbers of human beings. - Trevor Grove, Daily Mail

More Information

Paperback: 368 pages

Publisher: Eden Project Books (2 April 2007)

Language English

ISBN-10: 1903919584

ISBN-13: 978-1903919583

Product Dimensions: 19.4 x 12.6 x 2.8 cm

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At the Eden Project we believe plants are important to the future of us and our planet. Through our gardens and Biomes we inspire visitors to reconnect with the natural world around them - and to want to help preserve it. The money you spend in the Eden webshop goes towards our environmental education programmes.

Over 40,000 under-16s from 900 different schools visit our 'living classroom' each year. They get a unique opportunity to delve deep into the rainforest and form the vital connection with their environment that inspires them to want to conserve it.

Find out more about our plans to build a canopy walkway to continue our educational work around rainforests.

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