By Brett Walton, Circle of Blue
Coastal dead zones, toxic algal blooms, dry river deltas, decimated salmon runs. There is no shortage of terrible water news. But that’s only half the story, argues scientist and author Sandra Postel.
“Yes, the water cycle is broken,” Postel writes in her new book Replenish. “But one river, one wetland, one city, one farm at a time, we can begin to fix it.”
Postel acknowledges severe pressures on the world’s water, but she does not dwell on the negatives. Instead she finds widespread examples of adaptation and new thinking, from watersheds in the American West to cities in China. In her exploration, she connects water sustainability to the health of soil, forests, and wetlands.
Circle of Blue reporter Brett Walton spoke with Postel about her hopeful vision of water’s future.
Brett writes about agriculture, energy, infrastructure, and the politics and economics of water in the United States. He also writes the Federal Water Tap, Circle of Blue’s weekly digest of U.S. government water news. He is the winner of two Society of Environmental Journalists reporting awards, one of the top honors in American environmental journalism: first place for explanatory reporting for a series on septic system pollution in the United States(2016) and third place for beat reporting in a small market (2014). He received the Sierra Club’s Distinguished Service Award in 2018. Brett lives in Seattle, where he hikes the mountains and bakes pies. Contact Brett Walton