Particularly as climate change melts glaciers, intensifies droughts and generally upsets the patterns of precipitation upon which so many societies have come to rely.
In A Journey in the Future of Water, author and documentary filmmaker Terje Tvedt illustrates the nuanced relationships between societies and water. He visits dozens of countries around the world – from Iceland to Cambodia to Brazil – to examine how communities and governments are attempting to harness water resources, both sustainably and unsuccessfully.
Tvedt weaves vivid descriptions of locations with the voices of those in the crosshairs of water insecurity: a Chinese glaciologist with a grim warning, a Danish hydro-electric engineer in Greenland watching glacial melt water rise, a Hindu ascetic in Nepal seeing his holy river turn into a ‘flowing rubbish dump’. He takes us on a journey that begins by questioning our ‘age of water uncertainty’, covers the power dynamics that will shape the future of water, and concludes with a warning about the consequences of increasingly bold and manipulative water projects.
What is the future of water in a world where the climate is undergoing unprecedented change? Its future is intertwined with our future. However, as Tvedt notes, ‘water can, by being used and exploited in new ways, counteract a development that threatens development itself’.
A JOURNEY IN THE FUTURE OF WATER by Terje Tvedt, IB Tauris, £14.99