Book ID: CBB001553584

The Yellow River: The Problem of Water in Modern China (2015)


Pietz, David Allen (Author)

Harvard University Press

Publication Date: 2015
Physical Details: x + 367 pp.; ill.; maps
Language: English

Flowing through the heart of the North China Plain---home to 200 million people---the Yellow River sustains one of China's core regions. Yet this vital water supply has become highly vulnerable in recent decades, with potentially serious repercussions for China's economic, social, and political stability. The Yellow River is an investigative expedition to the source of China's contemporary water crisis, mapping the confluence of forces that have shaped the predicament that the world's most populous nation now faces in managing its water reserves. Chinese governments have long struggled to maintain ecological stability along the Yellow River, undertaking ambitious programs of canal and dike construction to mitigate the effects of recurrent droughts and floods. But particularly during the Maoist years the North China Plain was radically re-engineered to utilize every drop of water for irrigation and hydroelectric generation. As David A. Pietz shows, Maoist water management from 1949 to 1976 cast a long shadow over the reform period, beginning in 1978. Rapid urban growth, industrial expansion, and agricultural intensification over the past three decades of China's economic boom have been realized on a water resource base that was acutely compromised, with effects that have been more difficult and costly to overcome with each passing decade. Chronicling this complex legacy, The Yellow River provides important insight into how water challenges will affect China's course as a twenty-first-century global power.

Reviewed By

Review Yan Gao (2016) Review of "The Yellow River: The Problem of Water in Modern China". Agricultural History (pp. 130-132). unapi

Review Elene E. Songster (April 2017) Review of "The Yellow River: The Problem of Water in Modern China". Technology and Culture (pp. 621-623). unapi

Review Li, Lillian M. (2015) Review of "The Yellow River: The Problem of Water in Modern China". Environmental History (pp. 828-830). unapi

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Authors & Contributors
Melosi, Martin
Flamming, Douglas
Nobles, Gregory
Yaqub, Salim
Alagona, Peter S.
Amter, Steven
Environmental History
Ambix: Journal of the Society for the History of Alchemy and Chemistry
Historical Records of Australian Science
Scientia Canadensis: Journal of the History of Canadian Science, Technology, and Medicine
University of California Press
University Press of Kansas
I. B. Tauris
Oxford University Press
Science and politics
Water resource management
Water pollution
Water supply
Carson, Rachel Louise
Time Periods
20th century, late
20th century
21st century
19th century
18th century
12th century
United States
California (U.S.)
San Diego (California)
New York City (New York, U.S.)

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