Review From User :
Several reviewers compared this one to Kurlansky's Salt, which filled me with dread when I cracked open this book. Luckily, while Salzman says he was inspired by Kurlansky, this book reads nothing like Salt. Drinking Water is well organized and well written. Salzman provides a very balanced approach to the topic and explains contentious issues (private vs. public good) with equal weight given to each side. He makes good use of recent examples (The Marcellus Shale being of particular interest to me) to further explore what we really mean and think when we talk about "safe" and "clean" water. The book ends with a chapter on new technologies and hopes for ensuring access to clean water for generations to come. I would definitely recommend this book.
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 Drinking Water, 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. From the aqueducts of Rome to the revolutionary sewer system in nineteenth-century London to today’s state-of-the-art desalination plants, safety and scarcity of water have always been one of society’s most important functions.