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The Bookshelf: March 12, 2014

In this week's Bookshelf, our content partner Kirkus Reviews highlights Water 4.0 and Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond.

Water 4.0 by David Sedlak

Trib+Water is joining with respected books authority Kirkus Reviews to bring you select reviews of books of note in the field of water studies. For more book reviews and recommendations, visit

WATER 4.0: The Past, Present, and Future of the World's Most Vital Resource

by David Sedlak

Civilizations appeared without many things, including iron, the wheel, domestic animals or writing, but water was critical. Providing it has always taxed human ingenuity, writes Sedlak (Civil and Environmental Engineering/Univ. of California) in this chronicle of “the essential ingredient of life.” Dividing its history into stages, the author begins 2,500 years ago with Water 1.0. … In the second half of the book, Sedlak discusses Water 4.0: technology in the works to deal with (and pay for) water shortages, which are already upon us. … Water infrastructure is expensive and lacks enthusiasts, but in Sedlak’s hands, it isn’t boring.

For full review, visit


RAINWATER HARVESTING FOR DRYLANDS AND BEYOND, VOLUME 1, 2ND EDITION: Guiding Principles to Welcome Rain into Your Life and Landscape

by Brad Lancaster

Novices need not be intimidated by this revised edition’s abundance of charts and diagrams or its lengthy appendices: The material is simple to understand, and Lancaster’s friendly, conversational tone is accessible for all readers. Using eight common-sense principles as a guide—e.g., “Always plan for an overflow route, and manage that overflow water as a resource”—the author makes a cogent case for water conservation; namely, it’s ethical, and it saves money. … While not everyone will want to live completely off the grid, readers interested in preserving natural resources can apply Lancaster’s time-tested ideas to any lifestyle.

For full review, visit

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