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From the Publisher2008 Nautilus Book Awards Gold Winner in the category of ConsciousMedia/Journalism
"...an interesting read, well-written and thoroughlydocumented… completed by 50 pages of careful notes andreferences, helpful and informative." (World Business, March2007)
Is water a human right or a commodity to be marketed for profit? Should water be run by local governments or by distantcorporations? Why do we pay more for bottled water than forgasoline?
These are some of the tough-minded questions Alan Snitow andDeborah Kaufman first asked in their provocative and memorable 2004documentary, also titled "Thirst."
In their new book, the authors investigate how the growing"water business" is trying to privatize water systems in citiesscattered across the United States.
More often than not, local citizens don't even know their wateris being sold. But when people do know what's happening, they formpowerful coalitions, fueled by indignation and outrage. In theprocess, citizens rediscover some of the basic principles ofdemocracy, namely, that they should have a voice in theirgovernment.
This is the cautionary tale the authors tell through their vividdescriptions of eight conflicts over water — from Stockton toAtlanta, Ga.
Should we worry about these new water wars? Yes. Water is notonly a limited resource; it is also necessary for biologicalsurvival.
"The current conflict between corporations and citizensmovements to control this precious resource," they write, "will bedecided in the years to come. The outcome of the conflict willsurely be a measure of our democracy in the 21st Century."
They're right. See their film. Read this important book. Thendecide if you agree that public control of water is essential forour health and the health of our democracy. (San FranciscoChronicle, Excerpts of a review by Ruth Rosen)