New book draws attention to world water crisis

A powerful and disturbing visual journey vividly illustrating the global water crisis by New York Times best selling authors Rick Smolan and Jennifer Erwitt has been released. Blue Planet Run provides a fascinating look at the water problems facing humanity on every continent. The book features over 250 breath-taking and thought-provoking photographs by the world's top photojournalists, stimulating essays by leading mainstream environmental thinkers, scientists and analysts...

NEW YORK CITY, March 5, 2008 -- A powerful and disturbing visual journey vividly illustrating the global water crisis by New York Times best selling authors Rick Smolan and Jennifer Erwitt (Day in the Life, America 24/7) has been released, coinciding with the March 22, 2008, observation of United Nations World Water Day.

Blue Planet Run (Earth Aware Editions, Jan. 2008) provides a fascinating look at the water problems facing humanity on every continent. The book features over 250 breath-taking and thought-provoking photographs by the world's top photojournalists, stimulating essays by leading mainstream environmental thinkers, scientists and analysts, and daunting statistics along with possible solutions. Presented in an understandable and dramatic manner, Blue Planet Run is the first work in any medium to explain the safe drinking water crisis for a popular audience, and show how we all can contribute to solving it today.

All royalties from Blue Planet Run will be used to provide clean water to people around the world desperately in need of it via the groundbreaking work of the Blue Planet Run Foundation, which seeks to provide safe drinking water to 200 million people by 2027.

The water crisis affects -- or will soon affect -- nearly every human on Earth. Climate change, globalization, overpopulation and booming economies in China and India are exacerbating the water problem. Despite the scale of this crisis, it has remained on the margins of the public conscience. Among facts in the large-format volume Blue Planet Run dramatically depicting the crisis:
• 1.1 billion human beings around the planet (one of every six people) currently lack access to clean drinking water
• Women and girls in Africa spend a staggering 40 billion hours a year finding and carrying water back to their families
• 50 percent of people on Earth today lack access to the quality of water available to the citizens of ancient Rome 2,000 years ago
• 1.8 million children (more than 6,000 a day, or one every 15 seconds) die from water-borne diseases
• 50 percent of Earth's hospital beds are occupied by people with easily preventable water-borne diseases
• 66 percent of people on Earth will suffer from water shortages by the year 2025
• Humanity is sucking water out of the ground four times faster than it's being replenished by nature
• While global warming is unquestionably one of the most important issues facing the planet today, most experts believe that the water crisis is even more pressing

The book includes coverage of the 2007 Blue Planet Run, an unprecedented, nonstop, around-the-world relay race designed as a wake-up call to the world.

Blue Planet Run also features illustrations by infographic artist Nigel Holmes, and provocative essays by Diane Ackerman (A Natural History of the Senses), environmental leaders Paul Hawken and Bill McKibben, journalists Michael Specter and Jeffrey Rothfeder, Emmy Award-winning TV broadcaster Mike Cerre, ABC News' Michael Malone, and inventor Dean Kamen (the Segway scooter). Advisors and staff include Phillip Moffitt, former editor and owner of Esquire magazine and Stephen Petranek, former editor-in-chief of Discover magazine. The foreword is by Robert Redford and the introduction by Fred Pearce.

About the Authors
Rick Smolan is a former Time, Life and National Geographic photographer best known as the creator of the Day in the Life and America 24/7 series. He and his partner, Jennifer Erwitt, are the principals of Against All Odds Productions, which specializes in the design and execution of large-scale global projects that combine compelling storytelling with state-of-the-art technology. Their projects have been featured on the covers of Time, Newsweek, Fortune and U.S. News and World Report and more than five million of their books adorn coffee tables around the world -- many of them New York Times best-sellers. Their books include America at Home, UK at Home, 24 Hours in Cyberspace, The Power to Heal, Passage to Vietnam, One Digital Day, and From Alice to Ocean. Fortune magazine described Against All Odds as "one of the coolest companies in America."

For information on World Water Day: www.un.org/Depts/dhl/water/index.html

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