In February, 2020, Dunn’s book, Drying Up. The Fresh Water Crisis in Florida was selected as winner of the Florida Historical Society's Stetson Kennedy Award for writing about Florida's natural environment. The book, published by the University Press of Florida, also, has won the Bronze Medal in the 2019 Florida Book Awards, Florida Nonfiction category .
Dunn spent more than a year and half interviewing or consulting over a 100 interviews to find out how badly Florida's fresh water supplies are being squandered. Previous warnings have done little to convince Floridians their business-as-usual approach to water consumption is not sustainable. Today, many scientists think Florida has already passed the tipping-point.
This book is an attempt to explain why a water crisis exists and what’s to be done about it. Background is provided by outlining the history of Florida’s water management, water wars”, achievement, mistakes, and restoration efforts. Big questions are addressed. How have urbanization, water pollution, sea level rise, changing rain patterns, destruction of wetlands, disruption of natural hydrology, and political interference intensified the state’s ongoing water problems? What water rights do Floridians have? How are water planners responding to growing water quality and quantity problems? Will there be enough water for millions of new Floridians and the natural world? Must we rely on treated wastewater? How best to deal with algal blooms, pharmaceuticals, and other contaminants? Are population growth and relentless development really the best way to sustain an economy?
What’s happening in Florida however isn’t unique. Water crises are developing worldwide as the human population increases.
Drying Up also profiles a new “Soft Path” approach to managing water—one that utilizes green infrastructure and conservation methods, while protecting and restoring Florida’s natural hydrology.
Finally readers are asked to “rethink” water and adopt a new water philosophy that compels them to protect life’s most precious resource