Precious Commodity: Providing Water for America's Cities

Paperback (Print)
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $20.86
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 25%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (5) from $20.86   
  • New (2) from $25.04   
  • Used (3) from $20.86   

Overview

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.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“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

“Reading about the history of water in ‘Precious Commodity’ is a little like moving into a nice turn-of-the-twentieth-century home. On the surface you assume everything is fine and that you already understand the subject. Then you wake up one morning to sewage in the basement and you have to rip out the walls to replace the pipes. . . . Melosi forces readers, like the hapless homeowner, to face the complexity and weight of a water history that so many of us take for granted. Yet like the house, most American cities are built atop an antiquated water and sewer system that we have no choice but to deal with.”
—The Journal of American History

“[Melosi] suceeds in producing an engaging narrative by intermingling past and present issues concerning water supply and its social, cultural, and environmental implications.”

—AMBIX

“A worthy addition to the canon of water history.”

—American Historical Review

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780822961413
  • Publisher: University of Pittsburgh Press
  • Publication date: 4/30/2011
  • Series: Pittsburgh Hist Urban Environ Series
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Martin V. Melosi is Hugh Roy and Lillie Cranz Cullen University Professor of History and director of the Center for Public History at the University of Houston. He is the author or editor of numerous books, including Energy Metropolis: An Environmental History of Houston and the Gulf Coast; Garbage in the Cities: Refuse, Reform, and the Environment; The Sanitary City: Environmental Services in Urban America from Colonial Times to the Present; and Effluent America: Cities, Industry, Energy, and the Environment.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)