On newsstands March 30
Features and additional Web content at www.nationalgeographic.com/freshwater from March 15
Writers and photographers available for interviews March 15-April 14 (see specifics below).
The Burden of Thirst, by Tina Rosenberg, photographed by Lynn Johnson (p. 96) Aylito Binayo climbs the steep mountain back to her village, 50 pounds of water on her back — a journey she has made three times a day for nearly all her 25 years. Binayo is one of nearly a billion people without access to clean water, and the duty of finding and fetching this precious resource falls mostly to women in much of the developing world. Writer Tina Rosenberg reports that bringing clean water close to people’s homes could free women from this water slavery, a simple notion complicated by lack of expertise, money and geographic accessibility. Photographer Lynn Johnson documents the everyday struggle of these women, who continue to carry the burden of thirst on their shoulders. Rosenberg and Johnson are available for interviews.
Pipe Dream, by Joel K. Bourne Jr., photographed by Edward Burtynsky (p. 132) California, home to one of the most elaborate water delivery systems on the planet, is facing a crisis. An already overburdened supply system is at a breaking point after three years of drought, forcing mandatory water restrictions for many residents. Photographer Edward Burtynsky captures a landscape altered by pumps, pipes, canals and dams — and their impact as ecosystems are threatened and flood risks increase in the earthquake-prone region. Author Joel K. Bourne Jr. reports on how the state reached this point and what experts recommend to fix it — perhaps most importantly, learning to live within its
water resources. Bourne and Burtynsky are available for interviews.
Parting the Waters, by Don Belt, photographed by Paolo Pellegrin (p. 154) The Jordan River brings visions of divine tranquility to much of the world, but to Israel and its neighbors, the river symbolizes conflict. A six-year drought and expanding populations in Israel, Palestine and Jordan have placed a heavy burden on a river already plagued with pollution and overuse. As these countries battle to save this precious resource, experts believe the river may eventually create a path toward peace. National Geographic staff writer Don Belt and photographer Paolo Pellegrin paint a portrait of this Middle East region and its people who must work together to save the Jordan for future generations. Belt is available for interviews.
Silent Streams, by Douglas H. Chadwick, photographed by Joel Sartore (p. 116) Men and women in dive masks, dry suits, snorkels and fish-scooping nets atop their heads scour freshwater streams to survey, count and capture some of the rarest freshwater species. Their goal? To try to keep the species from going extinct due to habitat degradation, as many streams and rivers in the southeastern United States are choked by dams and clouded with pollutants. Writer Douglas H. Chadwick reports on the Knoxville, Tenn., nonprofit Conservation Fisheries, Inc., and the aquariums, private facilities and other state and federal wildlife agencies working to preserve some of the world’s 126,000 freshwater
animal species. Photographer Joel Sartore photographs some of the creatures at risk due to their degraded habitats. Chadwick and Sartore are available for interviews.
The Big Melt, by Brook Larmer, photographed by Jonas Bendiksen (p. 60) Glaciers of the Tibetan Plateau give birth to Asia’s largest and most legendary rivers and have sustained ecosystems, inspired religions and nurtured civilizations throughout history. As the plateau heats up twice as fast as the global average, nearly a third of the world’s population dependent on these rivers is affected as the snow and ice diminish. Author Brook Larmer writes of a curious paradox created by the melting glaciers: Tibetan grasslands and wetlands deteriorate with less rain, while communities on the plateau’s southern edge see swelling rivers with frequent floods and landslides. Photographer Jonas Bendiksen captures a land and people facing tough obstacles. Bendiksen is available for interviews.
Sacred Waters, photographed by John Stanmeyer (p. 80) From the droplets in a baptismal font to the scattering of the ashes on a holy river, water blesses our lives. Photographer John Stanmeyer travels world to showcase the spiritual significance of water — from the Maya’s natural wells in Mexico believed to lead to the underworld, to the healing waters of Lourdes, to a sacred waterfall in Japan that sweeps away impurities during ritual. Stanmeyer is available for interviews.
The April issue also features two essays by renowned authors: “Water is Life,” by Barbara Kingsolver, and “The Last Drop,” by Elizabeth Royte. In addition to the six feature stories and two essays, the magazine has many short pieces and eye-catching graphics on water related topics, such as a look at the water and ice that exist beyond Earth; a sun-disinfection water program that is keeping children in school; the world’s largest pool at 66 million gallons; how water-walking insects scale a tricky water slope; and a ripple hand-washing phenomenon that could save millions.
PLUS: The issue includes a two-sided supplement, with a map showing all the river systems in the world and a look at how much water it takes to produce common items that we eat and wear.
National Geographic magazine has a long tradition of combining on-the-ground reporting with award-winning photography to inform people about life on our planet. In 2009 it won a National Magazine Award for Photojournalism and was nominated as a finalist in four other categories, including General Excellence for a magazine with a circulation over 2 million. In 2008 it won three National Magazine Awards, for General Excellence, Photojournalism and Reporting. In 2007 it won two National Magazine Awards, for General Excellence and Photography. Its Web site, ngm.nationalgeographic.com, won a 2008 Webby Award for best magazine Web site.
The magazine is the official journal of the National Geographic Society, one of the world’s largest nonprofit educational and scientific organizations. Published in English and 32 local-language editions, the magazine has a global circulation of around 8 million. It is sent each month to National Geographic members and is available on newsstands for $5.99 a copy. Single copies can be ordered by calling (800) NGS-LINE, also the number to call for membership in the Society.