What a wonderful book. Fresh water is becoming a more and more important commodity. Having enough is going to be crucial for us to get through the next century intact. And the author makes the point that, as she says, "When soil is left bare, water evaporates, carbon oxidizes and microorganisms die. The ground becomes a hot plate and can no longer sustain life. Water runs off the land instead of sinking into it."
That's the key. We've been focusing on the wrong things. If we want more fresh water, the place to focus is on healthy soil.
One more quote from the book: "As in the African bush and on and around North America’s industrial farms, all around the world we have problems with water: water shortages and runoff and floods. But maybe we can reframe our challenge as having a keeping-water-in-the-ground problem. For this is certainly a problem we can do something about. What we need to do is promote land management practices that enhance a part of our water infrastructure that we’ve been treating like dirt: the ground."