Water in Plain Sight – Judith D Schwartz

Book Review

Water in Plain Sight, Hope for a Thirsty World, July 2016.

Judith Schwartz is a freelance writer from Vermont, in this hopeful book she gathers together a collection of real world stories. Detailing both issues with water and how innovators, conservationists and rebels are facing down established practices and bringing land back to life.

Exploring the natural water cycle and its interaction with all biophysical cycles, the carbon cycle, energy cycle and nutrient cycle, we can understand how humans can restore natural processes, reversing desertification and rebuilding biodiversity.

I found the chapter on Industrial agriculture particularly informative. Schwartz details very clearly the impact chemical agriculture has had on the microbiology of the soil. Industrial farming seems to be doubling down on this monoculture and chemical additives, starving the life in the soil and transforming earth, to dirt. The dirt cannot absorb the water. Schwartz speaks to a variety of farmers and soil scientists around the world, who are not only restoring life to the soil, but rebuilding it, sinking carbon in the process.

A practical, inspirational book, written in the style of a travel journal, makes it approachable for anyone interested in the topic and will leave the reader full of hope.


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