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Head of Zeus
Water Always Wins
Water Always Wins: Thriving in an Age of Drought and Deluge by Erica Gies

A journey through time and around the world to uncover water's true nature, and how it can help us adapt to climate change.

Trouble with water – increasingly frequent, extreme floods and droughts – is one of the first obvious signs of climate change. Meanwhile, urban sprawl, industrial agriculture and engineered water infrastructure are making things worse. As our control attempts fail, we are forced to recognize an eternal truth: sooner or later, water always wins.

Award-winning science journalist Erica Gies follows water 'detectives' as they search for clues to water's past and present. Their tools: cutting-edge science and research into historical ecology, animal life, and earlier human practices. Their discoveries: a deeper understanding of what water wants and how accommodating nature can protect us and other species.

Modern civilizations tend to speed water away. We have forgotten that it must flex with the rhythms of the earth, and that only collaboration with nature will allow us to forge a more resilient future.

Head of Zeus, an Apollo book * Science
12 May 2022 * 336pp * £7.99 * 9781800247383
'A gripping investigation into water and the champion sleuths who research it and engage in daunting yet necessary efforts to restore health to a damaged planet'
'[One of] the best science books coming your way in 2022'
New Scientist
'In this sparkling, flowing, world-spanning narrative, Gies compellingly shows why water will always win in the end, particularly in an urbanizing world facing disruptive climate change. She also reveals, through guides ranging from China's 'sponge city' designers to beavers, how liberating water can liberate us, in turn'
Andrew Revkin, co-author of The Human Planet and former New York Times climate reporter
'Reveals the mysteries of water's journey from source to sea, and shows how working with nature can help save us from the ravages of climate change. Through fascinating stories and detailed research, Gies challenges modern societies to relinquish some control, and let water go where it wants to go. This eye-opening book is filled with brilliant insights, creativity, inspiration, and honest hope'
Sandra Postel, author of Replenish and winner of the 2021 Stockholm Water Prize
'We've tried, in every way we know, to control and contain water on this planet. But there are limits to our power, which become clearer as escalating cycles of flooding and drought increasingly make a mockery of our efforts. As Gies ably demonstrates, the time has come to learn some lessons from liquid, and to start trying to live gracefully in our wonderfully aqueous world'
Bill McKibben, author of The End of Nature
'From California's agricultural lands to the marshes of Iraq, from beavers to microinvertebrates, from early water cultures in India and Peru to today's water crises and the challenges of climate change, Gies uses her formidable reporting skills and personal experiences to weave together beautiful stories about water, its impact on our lives, and how it's long past time to repair our relationship with this most precious resource'
Peter Gleick, founder of Pacific Institute
'In a world awash with water stress, Gies and the many people featured in her pages are leading the way to a future where people might live in a sustainable relationship with the element that sustains us all. It is entertaining, engaging, and applicable nearly everywhere in the world – every reader will find connections to their home communities here'
Peter K. Brewitt, Wofford College
'An inspiring, insightful book about the myriad ways that 'water detectives' are helping water to heal the planet'
'Gies proposes a new path... "Slow Water" is an approach that works with local landscapes, climates and cultures, rather than trying to dominate or change them'
Erica Gies
Erica Gies
Erica Gies is an award-winning journalist and National Geographic Explorer based in Victoria, British Columbia and San Francisco. She writes about water, climate change, plants and critters for the New York Times, Atlantic, Guardian, Economist, Scientific American, New Scientist, Wired, and other publications.