April 17, 2003
Contact: Perle M. Dorr (703) 379-2480
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Water and the Environment

ALEXANDRIA, VA — Water, not oil or minerals, is the most controlling resource on Earth. Its many uses include growing our food, generating power, enabling recreation, providing transportation, and sustaining life itself. All of these uses are controlled by water’s distribution, quantity, availability, and quality. Water and the Environment, a richly-illustrated, 64-page book recently published by the American Geological Institute, provides basic information about this precious resource and how we can protect and manage it. Included in each book is a colorful 18” x 24” poster that vividly details the many roles water plays in our lives and describes ways that every citizen can use water wisely.

    Intended for educators, policy makers, and the general public, Water and the Environment is written in non-technical language, contains many photographs and graphics, and uses actual examples to demonstrate the importance of water to the environment and how we manage water resources to improve our standard of living. The book also provides a general overview of surface water, ground water, water quality, water in the atmosphere, and how water shapes the Earth. Noting in the Preface that “water is essential to life,” the authors, U.S. Geological Survey hydrologists Stephen J. Vandas, Thomas C. Winter, and William A. Battaglin, address water-related environmental concerns arising from naturally occurring and human activities and provide important information about protecting and conserving our water resources to meet future needs. “All of the water on Earth, salty and fresh, is part of the hydrologic cycle that must be studied in great detail locally and worldwide to provide the data needed to properly develop and manage this most valuable resource,” states Philip E. LaMoreaux, chairman of AGI’s Environmental Geoscience Advisory Committee, in the book’s Foreword.

    Water and the Environment is the fifth publication in the AGI Environmental Awareness Series and was prepared under the sponsorship of AGI’s Environmental Geoscience Advisory Committee with support from the AGI Foundation. The objective of the Environmental Awareness series is to promote better understanding of the role of the Earth sciences in all aspects of environmental concerns and issues. Since its formation in 1993, AGI’s Environmental Geoscience Advisory Committee, co-chaired by Dr. Philip E. LaMoreaux and Dr. Stephen H. Stow, has assisted the Institute by identifying projects and activities that will help AGI achieve this goal. For additional information about AGI’s environmental geoscience program, contact Travis L. Hudson, AGI Director of Environmental Affairs, by e-mail,, or by phone, (360) 582-1844.

    Copies of Water and the Environment (ISBN 0-922152-63-2, 64 pages, 1 lb.) are available from AGI at a list price of $15.95. Members of AGI member societies receive a 20% discount. Orders may be placed through the AGI Publications Center at, or by mail, telephone, fax, or e-mail (American Geological Institute, Attention: Publications Center, 4220 King Street, Alexandria, VA  22302, Tel: (703) 379-2480, Fax: (703) 379-7563, E-mail: For deliveries in the contiguous U.S., please add $7.00 for postage and handling for the first copy and $1.25 more for each additional copy. Orders to addresses in Maryland and Virginia are subject to the applicable sales tax. All orders must be prepaid. Please make your check or money order drawn on a U.S. bank in U.S. funds payable to the American Geological Institute. AGI also accepts VISA and MasterCard. Orders are shipped by UPS Standard Service, whenever possible, and take two to three weeks for delivery. For additional information, bulk order pricing, or costs for overseas shipping, contact the AGI Publications Center.

    The American Geological Institute is a nonprofit federation of 40 scientific and professional associations that represent more than 100,000 geologists, geophysicists, and other earth scientists. Founded in 1948, AGI provides information services to geoscientists, serves as a voice of shared interests in our profession, plays a major role in strengthening geoscience education, and strives to increase public awareness of the vital role the geosciences play in society's use of resources and interaction with the environment. More information about AGI can be found at The Institute also provides a public-outreach web site,


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