Sunday, January 28, 2007

Fact or fiction?

Troubled Water: Saints, Sinners, Truth And Lies About The Global Water Crisis
Anita Roddick

To get a glass of water, a third of humanity turns on the tap. The rest improvises. The number of people who die worldwide from lack of access to safe water is equivalent to an area the size of Canada.

Water. You drink it, wash in it, cook with it, bathe in it, swim in it, float on it, make your morning tea with it. The earth is 70% water; so is the human body. Water, for many of us, is so ubiquitous as to be easy to overlook or take for granted. But we do so at our own peril. The amount of water that exists on earth today is exactly the amount that existed at the beginning of time. But humanity is putting greater demands on this precious, limited resource than ever before.

Around the world, a billion people don't have access to clean water. Droughts, floods, and waterborne diseases kill tens, perhaps hundreds of millions of people (mostly children) every year. And huge multinational corporations see a profit opportunity unparalleled even by oil or gold. From Bolivia to Britain, water supplies are being privatised and sold for profit, cutting millions off from the single most crucial human need.

Meanwhile, consumers in industrialised countries such as Italy, Britain, Australia and the United States eagerly drink millions of litres of bottled water every day – some of which is less pure than the stuff flowing from their taps at home.

Why are the politics of water so skewed, and what's being done about it? This book explores the problems and the solutions, and provides resources for ordinary readers to get involved.

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