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

Citation URI

Similar Citations

Book François Jarrige; Thomas Le Roux; (2021)
The Contamination of the Earth: A History of Pollutions in the Industrial Age (/isis/citation/CBB416267621/) unapi

Article Ross, Benjamin; Amter, Steven; (2002)
Deregulation, Chemical Waste, and Ground Water: A 1949 Debate (/isis/citation/CBB000200175/) unapi

Article Matthew P. Johnson; (October 2019)
Black Gold of Paradise: Negotiating Oil Pollution in the US Virgin Islands, 1966–2012 (/isis/citation/CBB282414761/) unapi

Article Akers, Harry F.; Porter, Suzette A. T.; (2007)
The 1945--1955 Queensland Artesian Fluoride Experience: A Unique Phenomenon within the Australian Wool Industry (/isis/citation/CBB000850003/) unapi

Book Nancy Langston; (2017)
Sustaining Lake Superior: An Extraordinary Lake in a Changing World (/isis/citation/CBB567294913/) unapi

Article Catherine Carstairs; (2015)
The Environmental Critique of Water Fluoridation (/isis/citation/CBB164063111/) unapi

Book Milazzo, Paul Charles; (2006)
Unlikely Environmentalists: Congress and Clean Water, 1945--1972 (/isis/citation/CBB000742127/) unapi

Book Richard T. Kingsford; (2017)
Lake Eyre Basin Rivers: Environmental, Social and Economic Importance (/isis/citation/CBB620985266/) unapi

Book Allitt, Patrick; (2014)
A Climate of Crisis: America in the Age of Environmentalism (/isis/citation/CBB001422331/) unapi

Book Tvedt, Terje; Chapman, Graham; Hagen, Roar; (2010)
Water and Geopolitics in the New World Order (/isis/citation/CBB001033491/) unapi

Thesis Eardley-Pryor, Roger; (2014)
The Global Environmental Moment: Sovereignty and American Science on Spaceship Earth, 1945--1974 (/isis/citation/CBB001567572/) unapi

Book Conohar Scott; (2022)
Photography and Environmental Activism: Visualising the Struggle Against Industrial Pollution (/isis/citation/CBB537949616/) unapi

Book Soll, David; (2013)
Empire of Water: An Environmental and Political History of the New York City Water Supply (/isis/citation/CBB001451966/) unapi

Book Markowitz, Gerald; Rosner, David; (2002)
Deceit and Denial: The Deadly Politics of Industrial Pollution (/isis/citation/CBB000301634/) unapi

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
Ming dynasty (China, 1368-1644)
18th century
United States
California (U.S.)
San Diego (California)

Be the first to comment!

{{ comment.created_by.username }} on {{ comment.created_on | date:'medium' }}

Log in or register to comment