- McCune Conference Room
- HSSB 6020
- Capps Forum on Ethics and Public Policy
As new climate disasters remind us every day, our world is not stable—and it is changing in ways that expose the deep dysfunction of our relationship with water. Increasingly severe and frequent floods and droughts inevitably spur calls for higher levees, bigger drains, and longer aqueducts. But as we grapple with extreme weather, a hard truth is emerging: our development, including concrete infrastructure designed to control water, is actually exacerbating our problems. Because sooner or later, water always wins. Science journalist Erica Gies introduces us to innovators in what she calls the Slow Water movement who start by asking a revolutionary question: What does water want? Experts in ecology, engineering, and other fields are already transforming our relationship with water. Figuring out what water wants—and accommodating its desires within our human landscapes—is now a crucial survival strategy.
Erica Gies is the author of Water Always Wins: Thriving in an Age of Drought and Deluge (2022). A National Geographic Explorer and an independent journalist, her stories covering water, climate change, plants, and critters appear in Scientific American, Nature, bioGraphic, the New York Times, The Atlantic, and other publications.