We all know what water is, and we often take it for granted. But the spectre of a worldwide water crisis suggests that there might be something fundamentally wrong with the way we think about water. Jamie Linton dives into the history of water as an abstract concept, stripped of its environmental, social, and cultural contexts. Reduced to a scientific abstraction – to mere H20 – this concept has given modern society licence to dam, divert, and manipulate water with apparent impunity. Part of the solution to the water crisis involves reinvesting water with social content, thus altering the way we see water. An original take on a deceptively complex issue, What Is Water? offers a fresh approach to a fundamental problem.
"The book demonstrates, in a clear and concise fashion, the ways in which contemporary social relationships with water have constituted a crisis... The subject is of fundamental importance and the author's emphasis on the need to posit environmental concerns within a socio-natural understanding is vital. - Alex Loftus, Department of Geography, University of London"
The history of the modern idea of water – an idea whose consequences have helped produce a global crisis.