Easily my most memorable visit was in 2004 to the dusty, reddish hills of southeastern Kenya on the edge of Africa's Rift Valley where I helped lay two miles of pipes that connected waterless, literally dirt-poor villages to a borehole pump. Although no Al Gore of water has yet arisen to sound the political clarion, radically improved efficiency -- which the combination of free market forces and water ecosystem regulations have begun modestly to produce -- is the best solution. A really fascinating survey of water use throughout history -- and how civilization is closely tied to the ability to manage water resources. While both deal with the importance of water, ocean navigation and water for irrigation, seemed very awkward to be paired with each other. The Islamic water rules that govern much of the Middle Eastern water policy are also discussed. Water is the most alarming and compelling call to action Iâve read since Rachel Carsonâs Silent Spring.
It's not a scary book about how we're going to die from lack of water. Third, since technology was introduced into the discussion, I would have liked to see more on emerging technology that remediates polluted water and desalinizes ocean water, especially if scarcity worsens and these purification technologies become necessary. Other reviews here seem spot-on. Solomon states that momentous turning points in civilization were made possible because of major changes in how humans used water. Today, freshwater scarcity is one of the twenty-first century's decisive, looming challenges and is driving the new political, economic, and environmental realities across the globe.
His sweeping narrative, covering centuries, is awe-inspiring. Solomon identifies plenty of obstacles to an equitable future, both institutional and geophysical, but remains optimistic that science-born solutions are in the offing. These blessings allowed the Europeans to develop industry, sea prowess which the ancients also had, Europeans were slow on the uptake , and Empire building. The book covers a lot of territory but is very interesting. This seemed a bit of a stretch tying it into water and the rest of the book, but was interesting.
Steven Solomon has written for The New York Times, BusinessWeek, The Economist, Forbes, and Esquire. Everyone could be doing a better job managing water than they already are, it's just a matter of a frame shift in thinking which is notoriously difficult , cooperation, efficiency, and innovation all combined to solve arguably the largest problem facing humanity. Solomon does highlight efforts to conserve water in many developed western economies and contrasts that with the superprojects pursued by countries such as India or China. The parts about the Middle East or New York's 3rd Tunnel could have been their own books. We are hitting a wall and entering an age of water scarcity with scary economic and geopolitical implications. It is here that I disagree. He is also the author of The Confidence Game.
The maps and pictures he included are interesting and helpful, and I think the subject matter is good, just ambitious. Text covers the role of irrigation and maritime commerce on early civilizations, as well as how the abundance or scarcity of water affected the development of different cultures, and finally, the role of steam power, dams, and water transfer between different hydrological regions. Solomon does an excellent job to include as much as he can in a comparatively small window of human history. Solomon's energetic delivery generally carries the reader across centuries and continents with great clarity. Genocides, epidemic diseases, failed states, and civil warfare increasingly emanate from water-starved, overpopulated parts of Africa and Asia. Four hundred million people depend on it, and there's no backup plan.
I raised muddy creek water 20 feet to irrigate cropland by stepping up and down on a treadle pump -- much as Chinese rice farmers did using bamboo tubes centuries ago and Americans today do on their Stairmasters. Solomon summarizes a history of civilization to show the importance of water. The first half of the book reads as a hymn to human genius the second half reads a gloom filled cliffhanger for the human project. As the other reviews have mentioned, perhaps Solomon should have included more on the technology involved, but that's not to say he completely omits any mention of technology from this book. It covers travel, agriculture, drinking and sanitation and their effects on population growth and power. However, I liked seeing the view over civilized history. I thus set out to discover water's main history lessons, then apply them to help illuminate the stakes and challenges of our new era of scarcity.
He provides a persuasive amount of evidence and is obviously deeply versed in the historical and contemporary literature on his topic, backing up his text with copious endnotes and bibliographical entries. . His final perspective on solving water problems is, not astonishingly, based around using the free market economic incentives to save. A bit long in places, but overall, a good and thought-provoking read. Saying water travel, use of irrigation, and use of steam are all part of a coherent whole is too much of a stretch. Then to Europe and the Renaissance and how rainfall patterns and water availability led to growth, along with inno The book covers a lot of territory but is very interesting.
Second, it was wordy with too many cases of redundancy. Everything hinges on water; it is essential to life and to civilization. Even if this mean we have to have a higher tax rate to pay for water infrastructure. The three aren't necessarily that closely related, involving different questions of geography, engineering, cleanliness, etc. Amply endowed America has a golden opportunity to become a global water superpower and growth leader of the new order.
There was just way too much going on, to the extent that this could easily have been four separate books instead of one. These states and there use of water have led to our current water issue. The book is divided up into four sections: Ancient History, Ascendency of Europe very water rich , the Industrial Revolution, and I debated between buying this book and another at Barnes and Noble, and I'm glad I bought the other one. Meticulously researched and undeniably prescient, Water is a stunningly clear-eyed action statement on what Robert F Kennedy, Jr. Definitely a way we can improve efficiency without lowering our standard of living. I learned a tremendous amount of usable knowledge from this fine work. His sweeping narrative, covering centuries, is awe-inspiring.
A useful piece for readers interested in natural resources and the geopolitics attendant to them. Solomon's writing style is very much like that of a Historian specializing in Economics. Water: The Epic Struggle for Wealth, Power, and Civilization is certainly an ambitious work. I chose to comment on the two themes I found most compelling. The author strives to maintain an air of objectivity - unlike some texts on the subject, the book does no Very well written, comprehensive book covering the role of water and hydrological developments in human history.