Global Water Inequality and the Coming Chaos
Univ Of Minnesota Press
On Sale: October 15, 2014
Hardcover / e-Book
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Non-Fiction Political | Non-Fiction
â€śThere's Money in Thirst,â€ť reads a headline in the New York
Times. The CEO of NestlĂ©, purveyor of bottled water,
heartily agrees. It is important to give water a market
value, he says in a promotional video, so â€śwe're all aware
that it has a price.â€ť But for those who have no access to
clean water, a fifth of the world's population, the price is
This is the frightening landscape that Karen Piper conducts
us through in The Price of Thirstâ€”one where thirst is
political, drought is a business opportunity, and more and
more of our most necessary natural resource is controlled by
In visits to the hot spots of water scarcity and the
hotshots in water finance, Piper shows us what happens when
global businesses with mafia-like powers buy up the water
supply and turn off the taps of people who cannot pay:
border disputes between Iraq and Turkey, a â€śrevolution of
the thirstyâ€ť in Egypt, street fights in Greece, an apartheid
of water rights in South Africa.
The Price of Thirst takes us to Chile, the first nation to
privatize 100 percent of its water supplies, creating a
crushing monopoly instead of a thriving free market in
water; to New Delhi, where the sacred waters of the Ganges
are being diverted to a private water treatment plant,
fomenting unrest; and to Iraq, where the U.S.-mandated
privatization of water resources destroyed by our military
is further destabilizing the volatile region.
And in our own backyard, where these same corporations are
quietly buying up water supplies, Piper reveals how â€śwater
bankingâ€ť is drying up California farms in favor of urban
sprawl and private towns.
The product of seven years of investigation across six
continents and a dozen countries, and scores of interviews
with CEOs, activists, environmentalists, and climate change
specialists, The Price of Thirst paints a harrowing picture
of a world out of balance, with the distance between the
haves and have-nots of water inexorably widening and the
coming crisis moving ever closer.
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