Review: The Atlas of Water, Second Edition–Mapping the World’s Most Critical Resource

6 Star Special, Atlases & State of the World, Complexity & Catastrophe, Disease & Health, Economics, Education (General), Environment (Problems), Environment (Solutions), Geography & Mapping, Intelligence (Public), Survival & Sustainment, True Cost & Toxicity, Water, Energy, Oil, Scarcity
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5.0 out of 5 stars Single Best Book on Content, Visuals, and Price

August 26, 2010

Maggie Black and Jannet King

This is one of twelve books on Water that I have read or am reading, expecting to get through all of them in the near term.

In comparison to the other works, this is the single best book when considering content, visuals, and price. This is the one book to buy if you want just one book and for that reason it is the only 6 in the lot, although Marq de Villier’s book, the last one listed below, is in that group as well as the first book to really put it all together. Here are ten other books, reviews for all of which will be posted here at Amazon and at Phi Beta Iota the Public Intelligence Blog where you can access all my reviews on books about water with one click.

The Evolution of the Law and Politics of Water
Governing Water: Contentious Transnational Politics and Global Institution Building (Global Environmental Accord: Strategies for Sustainability and Institutional Innovation)
Water: The Epic Struggle for Wealth, Power, and Civilization
Unquenchable: America’s Water Crisis and What To Do About It
Blue Gold: The Fight to Stop the Corporate Theft of the World’s Water
Whose Water Is It?: The Unquenchable Thirst of a Water-Hungry World
Blue Covenant: The Global Water Crisis and the Coming Battle for the Right to Water
Water Wars: Privatization, Pollution, and Profit
The Blue Death: Disease, Disaster, and the Water We Drink
Water: The Fate of Our Most Precious Resource

It is a real shame the publisher has not posted the table of contents, which I find to be one of the most holistic and useful I have seen in a very long time, and/or used Inside the Book capabilities that Amazon makes so easily available.

The books consists of 35 two pages “stories” with text on the left and graphics on the right, and I think this is so very cool I am going to list all 35. They in turn are followed by eye-glazing but essential tables of data on water.

PART 1 A FINITE RESOURCE
01 The Global Water Pot
02 Water Shortage
03 Rising Demand
04 Dwindling Supply
05 Competition and Conflict

PART 2 ENVIRONMENTAL PRESSURES
06 Climate Change
07 Urbanization
08 Altered Flows
09 Draining Wetlands
10 Drylands and Drouights
11 Floods

PART 3 WATER FOR LIVING
12 Water and Drinking
13 Water for Sanitation
14 Water at Home
15 Water and Disease
16 Disease Vectors
17 Water for Food
18 Dispossession by Water

PART 4 WATER FOR ECONOMIC PRODUCTION
19 Irrigation
20 Water for Industry
21 Water for Energy
22 Water for Fisheries
23 Transport and Leisure
24 Water for Sale

PART 5 DAMAGED WATER
25 Water Pollutants
26 Water Pollution
27 Damaged Waterways
28 Threatened Ecologies

PART 6 WATER FOR THE FUTURE
29 Millenium Development Goals
30 Treaties and Obligations
31 Deepening Co-Operation
32 Managing Water
33 Water Footprint
34 Water at a Price
35 Technological Fixes

Published in 2009, I consider this to be one of the most intelligent and best designed and most informative books I have touched in some time. It also introduced me to volumes I did not know about, such as The State of the American Empire by Stephen Burman, and several others on regions, religions, endangered species, etcetera. The “model” that this book represents is precisely suited as a foundation for a digital World Brain and Global Game, and I set this book aside reluctantly [I donated my library to George Mason University, and as a wandering warrior now ship them all my new books after I have read and reviewed them–trying not to mark them up the way I used to.]

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