From Publishers Weekly
This essay anthology looks at water issues worldwide and throughout history, including science, history and investigative reporting, as well as personal stories and profiles. Among other concerns, writers collected here-mostly activists, but also sociologists, educators and reporters-address untreated sewage dumping and the disease outbreaks it causes; the destructive power of upstream dams; and the sediment-starved Mississippi Delta, its attendant erosion, and the horrific storm damage that's resulted. A short, frank multi-millennial history of urban sewage disposal illustrates well the dangers of water supplies contaminated by sewage-cholera, typhus, typhoid, etc.-and is equally forthright about the problems with current municipal sewage treatment practices. The authors maintain a tongue-in-cheek style that, for the most part, keeps tedium at bay; if readers find Part One too polemical, Parts Two and Three offer principles and proper construction techniques for practical, at-home solutions, including home watergardens, home-scale greywater systems and composting toilets.
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"As the world faces a water crisis, this collection of thoughtful essays, illuminating profiles, and personal narratives, is interwoven with constructive, practical suggestions that range from harvesting rainwater to installing composting toilets. Dam Nation is a call to action, a conservation manifesto to create a movement one person at time." -- Robert Glennon, author of Water Follies: Groundwater Pumping and the Fate of America's Fresh Waters
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"Water, water everywhere, and all of it controlled. This collection is essential reading for anyone -- no, EVERYONE -- in the least interested, not only in the prospects for human liberation, but survival itself." -- Ward Churchill
"A sweeping overview of water use issues. Dam Nation is an accessible and energizing resource for the next generation of activists and radical plumbers." -- Art Ludwig, author of Create an Oasis with Greywater
Two centuries of what Lewis Mumford called megatechnics have so altered the earth's hydrologic cycle that all life on the only water planet we know has grown as endangered as the bellwether salmon. An ever-ramifying network of dams, conduits, and pumps coerces water from riverbeds and aquifers, turning it toward cities and the fields that feed them in order to grow the most lucrative crop of all -- land value. Like the alienated inhabitants of imperial Rome and Babylon, few urbanites know of the toxic deserts that are the city's price, nor of their peril as safe water and food run out. Dam Nation takes you to front line water battles around the world as told by young and indigenous peoples fighting to reclaim the earth's arteries, lakes, and seas. More than merely witnesses to the multiple crises engulfing our world, these committed activists tell us how biotechnics can make the water we have killed live again. If you love your children and the world that sustains as it delights them, listen to these voices, then act. -- Gray Brechin, author of Farewell, Promised Land: Waking from the California Dream
Water has joined oil as the key political liquids of our epoch, and this book will join Amita Baviskar's In the Belly of the River as a powerful weapon in the struggle of commoners everywhere against the neoliberal makeover of our world and its waters. -- Iain Boal, author of Resisting the Virtual Life