Blue Planet Run: The Race to Provide Safe Drinking Water to the World came out last week. Rick Smolan contacted me almost a year ago about using my China Water Pollution essay in the book. I've been looking for outlets to run this story and agreed to contribute images to this worthy cause. They also used my essay to accompany the photos.
Huo Daishan, the unofficial guardian of the Huai River and the man most responsible for bring this issue to the world's attention was also featured as a "Water Hero". He was a former newspaper photographer who was spurred to action after a friend died of cancer. Mr. Daishan escorted me to the villages where these photos were taken and helped me avoid Party officials uninterested in this story receiving any publicity.
According to a reporter I spoke to recently who met with him, Mr. Daishan's phone and email are now monitored, and the "cancer villages" are completely closed to outsiders as the people living there continue to suffer.
Mr. Daishan takes notes after speaking with a villager