WA­TER WISE A Bri­tish writer tells how this vi­tal re­source has shaped Chi­nese life and cul­ture for cen­turies.

Andrew Moody

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - LIFE -

“There is a view in the West that they should per­haps be more like China and that there be more sci­en­tists and en­gi­neers in po­si­tions of power.”

TheWaterKing­dom in Chi­nese cul­ture and un­der this very en­light­ened scheme Na­ture had, I thought this is my chance to fi­nally go,” he says.

“Look­ing back, it was an in­ter­est­ing time to be there (the year of Deng Xiaop­ing’s South­ern Tour), but it was still tough to travel in China.”

Ball now has a deeper com­mit­ment to China: He and his wife adopted a Chi­nese baby in 2006. Mei Lan is now 11 and the elder of their two daugh­ters. The book is, in fact, ded­i­cated to her.

“Over the past 10 years, I have pretty much gone to China ev­ery year with my fam­ily. We are keen she has con­tact with her Chi­nese roots,” he says.

Ball left Na­ture in 2001 (although he still con­trib­utes to it) to fo­cus on writ­ing books, of which he has pub­lished around 20.



Philip Ball, au­thor of The coun­try’s ma­jor wa­ter-en­gi­neer­ing so­lu­tions: the South-to-North Wa­ter Di­ver­sion Pro­ject (above) and Xiaolangdi Dam on the Yel­low River (top).

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