The Atlas of Water: Mapping the World's Most Critical Resource, 2nd Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Atlas of Water

Mapping the World's Most Critical Resource, 2nd Edition

By Maggie Black, Jannet King

© 2009 – Routledge

128 pages

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Paperback: 9781844078271
pub: 2009-09-09
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About the Book

The planet's finite supply of fresh water is under such pressure that soon it may be the most valuable commodity on earth. The new edition of this crucial and timely atlas shows water distribution worldwide, and reflects the latest thinking and emerging issues. With updated data throughout, the atlas covers a wide range of topics to map how our limited water resources are shared and used around the world, as well as the challenges posed to their management by today's unprecedented population and environmental pressures. It includes completely new maps on climate change, water for tourism, dam construction, biodiversity, and water management, commerce and legislation. With snapshots of especially vulnerable areas and major polluters as well the global picture, this is a unique resource for general readers as well as policy makers and students. Divided into six parts, each prefaced with an introductory essay, the atlas investigates the nature of the resource itself, through its uses in all kinds of human activity, to the vexed questions of how to manage water well and avoid the threat of 'water conflicts'.


'An indispensable guide to a vital issue.' Scientific and Medical Network Review

"Visually ingenious." OXFAM Development Resources Review

"A very attractive and useful book…Highly recommended." New Agriculturalist

"Provides a fascinating look at the state of water in our world and can be considered a must-read for anyone grappling with this complex topic." The Sierra Club Green Life Blog

"I hope - if only in a small way - that I can encourage people to read and learn from this book. It is accessible to a wide range of readers from school children upwards and presents information and analysis in a clear and attractive 'atlas' format [and is] clearly of great value for researchers, practitioners such as myself, water policy makers and their advisers. […] The contents of the book are […] all one could hope for" Mike Woolgar, Waterlines

"Attractively presented and easy to understand… all the maps an associated texts are interesting and pertinent." HealthMatters

"An excellent handbook" The Economist

"It is a pioneering work unraveling the water world comprehensively in a unique format of fascinating analysis and illustrated by data charts, figures, photographs with lucid narration. […] such a book was an urgent necessity." Subhajyoti Das in the Journal of the Geological Society of India

Table of Contents

Part I: A Finite Resource 1. The Global Water Pot 2. Water Shortage 3. Rising Demand 4. Dwindling Supply 5. Competition and Conflict 6. Climate Change Part II: Environmental Pressures 7. Urbanization 8. Altered Flows 9. Draining Wetlands 10. Drylands and Droughts 11. Floods Part III: Water for Living 12. Water for Drinking 13. Water for Sanitation 14. Water at Home 15. Water and Disease 16. Harbouring Disease 17. Water for Food 18. Dispossession by Water Part IV: 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 V: Damaged Water 25. Water Pollutants 26. Water Pollution 27. Damaged Waterways 28. Threatened Ecologies Part VI: Water for the Future 29. MDGs 30. Treaties and Obligations 31. Deepening Cooperation 32. Managing Water Resources 33. Water Footprint 34. Water at a Price 35. Technological Fixes Part VII: Data Tables Needs and Resources Uses and Abuses Glossary Useful Conversions Useful Sources References Index

About the Authors

Maggie Black is a writer on international issues and the author of several books on water and sanitation. These include Water: A Matter of Life and Health (with Rupert Talbot), OUP and Unicef, New Delhi, 2004; Water, Life Force and The No-Nonsense Guide to Water, New Internationalist Publications, both 2005; and The Last Taboo: Opening the Door on the Global Sanitation Crisis (with Ben Fawcett), Earthscan 2008. Jannet King was co-author, with Robin Clarke, of the first edition of the atlas. She has spent many years researching and editing political and historical atlases, including the award-winning Atlas of Food, Atlas of Endangered Species,The State of the World Atlas, and the World Bank series of mini-Atlases on global development, the environment and human security.

About the Series

The Earthscan Atlas

The Earthscan Atlas

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LAW / Natural Resources