This text describes the natural history of this vital ingredient of the natural world, capable of shaping the land where it flows, carving canyons in the rock and dissolving caverns deep underground. Fresh water is an agent of nature, always at work, and seldom thought of as having a natural history. Here, the remarkable ways of water are examined; where it comes from and where it goes; how it moves over and under the earth and into the atmosphere; how it affects the land. Also considered is the connection between water and life in a time when the world's supply of clean, fresh water continues to dwindle.
Prologue Ch. 1: The Water Cycle Ch. 2: Water below the Ground: Groundwater Ch. 3: Groundwater in Use Ch. 4: Water below the Ground: Vadose Water Ch. 5: Flowing Water: Rivers and Streams Ch. 6: Rivers at Work Ch. 7: Lakes Ch. 8: When Water Freezes Ch. 9: Dams, Diversions, and Reservoirs Ch. 10: Wetlands Ch. 11: Microscopic Life Ch. 12: Water in the Atmosphere: Vapor, Clouds, Rain, and Snow Notes Index