The Times introduces us to four new books about water and our relationship to it. Each text explores a different aspect the dynamic between humans and water:

  • James Salzman’s “Drinking Water” — “Access to water may be viscerally regarded as a ‘right,’ but he points out that the best way to ensure a reliable supply of pure water, especially in poor regions, is often to privatize it.”
  • Steven Mithen in his book “Thirst” comes to a very interesting conclusion: “Though we may think that the rise of complex social and economic networks enabled ancient cultures to manage their water, the reverse may well be true: only when a society had reliable access to water could it turn itself into an economic or cultural power.”
  • In “Empire of Water,” David Soll — a historian at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire — focuses on New York City’s history of water rights and management as well as how water use is measured.
  • Dr Wendy J. Pabich asked herself the question of how much water she and her husband used in “Taking On Water”. — Living in a dry region of Idaho, her results were alarming and she goes on to catalog the varying amounts of water that go into everyday life and comment on water pricing and water reduction strategies.

Water is key to our everyday life. It’s amazing to think about all the ways water plays a part in our daily lives and how fortunate we are to have virtually unlimited access to clean water every day.