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Drinking Water: A Historyby James Salzman
Synopses & Reviews
Other than air, the only substance more vital to life is water. Our bodies brim with it, and if weandrsquo;re deprived of it for even a few days, the results can be fatal. Our planet, too, is mostly water, with oceans across approximately seventy percent of its surface. But potable water has in many times and places been a scarce resource, and with Water, Ian Miller traces the history of our relationship with drinking waterandmdash;our attempts to find it, keep it clean, and make it widely available.
Millerandrsquo;s history ranges widely, from ancient times to the present, exploring all the many ways that weandrsquo;ve rendered water palatableandmdash;from boiling it for tea or distilling it as part of alcoholic beverages to piping it from springs, bubbles and all. He covers the histories of water treatment and supply, belief in its medicinal powers, and much more, all supported by fascinating historical illustrations. As access to fresh water becomes an ever more potent problem worldwide, Millerandrsquo;s book is a fascinating reminder of our long engagement with this most vital fluid.
When we turn on the tap or twist open a tall plastic bottle, we might not give a second thought to where our drinking water comes from. But how it gets from the ground to the glass is far more complex than we might think.
With concerns over pollution and new technologies like fracking, is it safe to drink tap water? Should we feel guilty buying bottled water? Is the water we drink vulnerable to terrorist attacks? With springs running dry and reservoirs emptying, where is our water going to come from in the future? In , Duke University professor and environmental policy expert James Salzman shows how drinking water highlights the most pressing issues of our time--from globalization and social justice to terrorism and climate change--and how humans have been wrestling with these problems for centuries. Provacative, insightful, and above all fun to read, shows just how complex a simple glass of water can be.
About the Author
James Salzman holds the Samuel Mordecai chair at the School of Law and the Nicholas Institute Professor chair at the School of the Environment at Duke University. He has written extensively on the topics of environmental conservation, population growth, and climate change. He lives in Durham, North Carolina.
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