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Environment Article
Deep Water: The Epic Struggle Over Dams, Displaced People, and the Environment

DEEP WATER: The Epic Struggle over Dams, Displaced People, and the Environment

The world's first mammoth dam, Hoover Dam in Nevada, transformed the American West and provided water and power to more than 25 million people. Spurred by this achievement, other countries followed suit, constructing dams that forever have altered Earth's landscape--not always for the better. While dams provide electricity and drinking and irrigation water for the benefit of countless people, they are costly, typically degrade the environment, and often displace people from their ancestral homes.

Leslie, a journalist, analyzes the many-sided debate over dams by interviewing people such as Medha Patkar, a staunch opponent of the colossal Sardar Sarovar Dam being built in her native India. Patkar has threatened to chain herself to the face of the dam to prevent further construction. This is a compelling tale of how altering the environment for people's benefit can backfire. Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2005, 352 p., b&w illus., hardcover, $25.00.

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