Water: The Fate of Our Most Precious Resource
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Water: The Fate of Our Most Precious Resource

3.85 of 5 stars 3.85  ·  rating details  ·  127 ratings  ·  14 reviews
In his award-winning book WATER, Marq de Villiers provides an eye-opening account of how we are using, misusing, and abusing our planet's most vital resource. Encompassing ecological, historical, and cultural perspectives, de Villiers reports from hot spots as diverse as China, Las Vegas, and the Middle East, where swelling populations and unchecked development have stress...more
Paperback, 368 pages
Published July 12th 2001 by Mariner Books (first published July 1st 2000)
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Very detailed and eye-opening. A little dry, though. ;)
The first question I asked before reading this book was, "Is it up date?". I still don't know the answer. However, I did read the revised edition (2003 vs the original 1999 edition) and would definitely recommend the revised, as there does seem to be a lot of updates and overhaul. The revised edition is at least 50 pages longer, although it leaves out a nice chart summing up the numbers, in the appendix of the original, comparing the per capita and overall amounts of water available to each coun...more
A fine introduction to global water issues. Done back at the turn of the century (Enron is still a going concern), de Villiers looks at the major areas of water stress across the globe and at some of the political issues surrounding them. South Africa-born and raised on a water-starved farm on the desert's edge there, de Villiers asks clear questions about misuse and maldistribution of water resources, and he looks at the political issues as well. If farmland is taken out of cultivation to conse...more
Maybe it's the fact that I've read a lot of books on water but this one didn't really grab me. Most of what De Villier wrote is stuff I knew. It could be over-familiarity with the subject means I need to read more technical writings and papers. It could also be that the book is close to 15 years old so the information is a bit dated. He didn't rely on the same old stories I've read in other books but many of those took place after this book was published. It would seem to make more sense to read...more
Sarah Kades
I'm counting this book as one of my favorite text books, because although I read it after university, I was working at Brandon University and over beers with my husband and one of his thesis advisor, it came out that this was used as a text book at BU. So I read text books for fun. Could be worse.

This is a fascinating book that prompted a more comprehensive understanding of just how much a catalyst water is from carving landforms, to world politics, to environmental and industrial concerns, besi...more
Rereading this 7 years later. Some of the specific cases are out of date, but the message and examples are still for the most part relevant. Great to really sink in to it outside of school.
Jul 31, 2008 DJ rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: no one
Shelves: nature
I opened this book, inspired and ready to love it, during a water project of my own in the Karnataka state of India. I didn't make it past 80 pages. The book reads like a series of statistics and quotes with little additional thought or input from the author.
This book sucks. I only finished it because I thought it was going to get better. It is pretty much just a huge list of water atrocities. The only good parts are when he block quotes marc reisner's Cadillac Desert.
Sometimes subject to hyperbole and a little dated (2001), de Villiers gives a good outline of the issues involving the scarcity of fresh water
this is one of the most fundamental, comprehensive books i've ever read about the resource we are rapidly flushing down the drain. Wish I owned it...
Tom Bomhof
I've come to learn a bit more about how precious water is in our world and how we need to manage it better.
Wonderful overview on the state of water access and availability around the world.
Jul 18, 2009 Erin is currently reading it
SO good.
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Born in South Africa, Marq de Villiers is a veteran Canadian journalist and the author of thirteen books on exploration, history, politics, and travel, including Water: The Fate of Our Most Precious Resource (winner of the Governor General's Award for Non-Fiction). He has worked as a foreign correspondent in Moscow and through Eastern Europe and spent many years as editor and then publisher of Tor...more
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