Introduction to Water Wars

Here are some public, usable resources for reading up on the current global water crisis:

Wikipedia on Water Privatization (scroll down for lots of extra sources and links)

Steven Jackson’s nice book review of literature on the Global Water Crisis from Technology and Culture, a leading history of technology journal.

And of course, my current guide to all things Global Water Crisis, Fred Pearce‘s fast-moving survey of global water problems, When The Rivers Run Dry.

Sociologist Erik Swyngedouw has written abour water resource management in Equador, arguing that flows of water are flows of power, too.

Award-winning documentary FLOW (For the Love of Water)

Kimberly Fitch recently wrote a dissertation on recent water privatization trends in France and Germany (see abstract here).

Recent collection of essays on water privatization in South Africa, entitled “The Age of Commodity.”

Recent argumentative essay on Water Privatization by Matthias Finger and Jérémy Allouche.

This only scratches the surface. There is a huge literature out there which I am just beginning to master! Happy reading.

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One Comment on “Introduction to Water Wars”

  1. P Says:

    I note that in Jackson’s article, he makes the connection between theories of peak oil (which I’ve done a fair amount of reading on) and similar notions of peak water. It brings up an interesting question in that oil requires a substantial amount of processing in order to reach the state where it is readily consumable by the public in our familiar technologies. Ideally, water is ready to use from the get go (though of course pollution is making this less and less true). Nevertheless, both are generally considered “natural resources.”

    Does the innate usability of a resource factor into our notions of whether it should be public or not? We seem to have little conflict over the notion that oil companies can buy land and drill for oil to sell, even if we have qualms about the way they conduct their business.

    Of course, water is a basic biological necessity and oil isn’t. Buy oil certainly is necessary for the maintenance of any lifestyle we would recognize. Is there a distinction to be made here?


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