Welcome back to the DWC book club. See what has caught our scientists’ eye this month and get some reading recommendations for the latest goings on in Water World.
Gabrielle Bouleau, INRAE
I highly recommend “Geomorphy”, an article by G. Mathias Kondolf and Pedro J. Pinto on the social connectivity of rivers. I found it quite compelling because the authors use the concept of “river connectivity”, which is commonly used by water scientists, to talk about people’s relationship with a river.
Longitudinal connectivity, for instance, is traditionally used to describe upstream and downstream sediment flows. In this article though, it refers to navigation use. Similarly, the idea of “vertical connectivity” (the relationship between the river and the water table) is used to explore recreational activities on water, like canoeing or swimming.
The article explores the relationship of people to water in a very engaging way. It offers thought-provoking ideas on the influence of the morphology of waterways and their banks on a city’s atmosphere and perceptions by its citizens.
Oriol Gutierrez, ICRA
I’m currently reading Water Stewardship (Ingildsen, 2020). This is a book about water professionals struggling with the day-to-day realities of their work (administrative obstacles, budget limitations, conflicts, burnout, etc.) and all the usual commotions of working with water.
Unfortunately, this is a situation many water professionals find themselves in. This is profoundly unsustainable, not only for the individual but also for organisations and, ultimately, society. Many of us started our journey in water engineering with a wish to contribute to some higher goals of easing the pressures we are inflicting on nature. But the everyday pressures of a busy working life can turn us away from these original aspirations.
Pernille proposes the figure of the Water Steward to overcome this through a diverse approach that is not only focused on engineering. I found this very interesting and appropriate. I ‘m only halfway through the book but, so far, I am really enjoying it. I feel it is very useful to carry out this zoom-out exercise before coming back with renewed energy.