Academic journal article Electronic Green Journal

Review: The World's Water 2006-2007

Academic journal article Electronic Green Journal

Review: The World's Water 2006-2007

Article excerpt

Review: The World's Water 2006-2007 By P.H. Gleick Reviewed by A.M. Mannion University of Reading, UK Gleick, P.H. The World's Water 2006-2007. Washington: Island Press, 2006. 368pp. ISBN: 1-59726-106- 8. $35 Papercover. Recycled, acid-free paper.

Water and food are vital for all forms of life; and water is vital for food production. For many, especially in developed countries, a plentiful freshwater supply is taken for granted but many people in developing nations encounter permanent water shortages which may become life-threatening. The significance of freshwater is reflected in the biennial reports produced by the Pacific Institute for Studies in Development, Environment, and Security, an independent non-profit making organisation based in Oakland, California which was established in 1987. These reports have been produced since 1998-9 and provide data on global freshwater resources as well as a series of essays and briefs on specific water issues. The 2006- 2007 report contains six essays, five briefs and 22 tables in the data section which occupies c.33% of the report.

In the current political climate it is hardly surprising that the first essay is on water and terrorism; that water is essential has made it vulnerable to attack through direct release and/or contamination or indirect compromise via its infrastructure. Numerous

historical cases are given as examples as are descriptions of potential chemical and biological attacks. Further essays focus on in stream water to maintain freshwater ecosystems which are often threatened by water removal, the history and present status of seawater desalinization to provide freshwater, and the occurrence and consequences of floods and droughts, problems which are also linked with global warming. The remaining essays consider water in the context, first, of environmental justice and, second, of business and risks which water businesses may face. …

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