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Water: The Fate of Our Most Precious Resource

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  196 Ratings  ·  20 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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Feb 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
Very detailed and eye-opening. A little dry, though. ;)
Adam Marischuk
May 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science
An enjoyable light read on the issue of water at the turn of the century

It is interesting that in the age of space exploration, and as we search for habitable planets across the galaxy, or extra-terrestrial life, that we are so focused on three tiny atoms of the most primitive variety. When combined in this bizarre ménage-à-trois, they behave rather strangely. Densest in liquid form, at roughly 4 degrees Celsius, it is the prime element of life as we know it.

Marq de Villiers book is a somewhat d
Daniel Shoag
Feb 03, 2018 rated it liked it
An excellent book but dated. If it was more current I'd give it five stars.

Marq, when will the next edition come out?
Jul 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Jun 19, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
Sarah Kades
Aug 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
May 19, 2011 rated it it was ok
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
Dec 29, 2007 rated it did not like it
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.
John Chiniara
A welcome and prescient overview of several water issues confronting the globe at an accelerating pace. Like demographics, water is the intricate and often misunderstood or underestimated "wiring" underlying many present and future events.
Thinn Thinn
Nov 11, 2015 rated it liked it
A very interesting book to learn more detail about water. As the population is booming, the author mentioned the detail about water crisis, water pressure, and water issues.

I wonder what would be his thoughts after the US invaded the Middle East. What wars bring more stress about water!
Apr 26, 2011 rated it did not like it
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.
Jan 23, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
Apr 07, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've come to learn a bit more about how precious water is in our world and how we need to manage it better.
Susan Mazur Stommen
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.
Sep 03, 2010 rated it liked it
Sometimes subject to hyperbole and a little dated (2001), de Villiers gives a good outline of the issues involving the scarcity of fresh water
Jaime Carrera
Feb 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
Interesting facts, but dry. I found it hard to read.
Sep 28, 2016 rated it liked it
Well written for a topic that would usually come across as dry
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May 15, 2017
David Gates
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May 30, 2015
Cindy Cotter
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Jul 17, 2011
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Sep 15, 2015
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Jun 23, 2013
Phillip Kopf
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Mar 11, 2011
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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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