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Precious Commodity: Providing Water for America's Cities (Paperback)
  • Precious Commodity: Providing Water for America's Cities (Paperback)

Precious Commodity: Providing Water for America's Cities (Paperback)

Paperback 320 Pages / Published: 30/03/2011
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As an essential resource, water has been the object of warfare, political wrangling, and individual and corporate abuse. It has also become an object of commodification, with multinational corporations vying for water supply contracts in many countries. In Precious Commodity, Martin V. Melosi examines water resources in the United States and addresses whether access to water is an inalienable right of citizens, and if government is responsible for its distribution as a public good.

Melosi provides historical background on the construction, administration, and adaptability of water supply and wastewater systems in urban America. He cites budgetary constraints and the deterioration of existing water infrastructures as factors leading many municipalities to seriously consider the privatization of their water supply. Melosi also views the role of government in the management of, development of, and legal jurisdiction over America's rivers and waterways for hydroelectric power, flood control, irrigation, and transportation access. Looking to the future, he compares the costs and benefits of public versus private water supply, examining the global movement toward privatization.

Publisher: University of Pittsburgh Press
ISBN: 9780822961413
Number of pages: 320

"Precious Commodity is cutting-edge environmental history. In it, Melosi asks an essential question-who determines the control and distribution of water? His sharp insights into the interlocking relationship between public and private ownership and the impact this has had on resource allocation across time and place demonstrate how difficult it will be to achieve a sustainable water future." -Char Miller, Pomona College

"With searching and thoughtful analyses of the urban, technological, and environmental dimensions of the management of water resources, Melosi advances our understanding of the past and assists our capacity to plan intelligently for the future." -Jeffrey K. Stine, author of America's Forested Wetlands: From Wasteland to Valued Resource

"A remarkable collection of information regarding water-related issues . . . intelligently written . . . highly recommended." -Journal of the American Water Resources Association

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