Water Connections – What Fresh Water Means to Us and What We Mean to Water is about our changing ways around lakes, streams and other inland waters. Jim Rousmaniere, a seasoned newsman in Baltimore, Washington, and New Hampshire, spent six years talking with hydrology experts, fish and game staffers, citizen scientists, artists, water power people and environmentalists for insights into what we have done around fresh water – both good and bad.

One source of inspiration is the 19th century environmentalist George Perkins Marsh, a Woodstock native, who lamented the “collateral and unsought consequences of human action” in nature. But the book’s not a downer; the author turned up a great many non-profit river coalitions and lake associations that work to restore public waters and keep them clean. Much of his research was conducted in New England, which is distinctive for its early development history, hydropower-friendly topography and worsening rainfall patterns.