Events & Media

Visiting Professor's Book Offers Refreshing Take on Water


James Salzman

A new book about water writer by James Salzman, who teaches environmental law as a visiting member of the Bren School faculty, received a recommendation in the November issue of Scientific American.

Reviewer Marissa Fessenden writes that Drinking Water: A History (The Overlook Press) "makes the liquid seem as mythic as the fountain of youth."

She adds, "Salzman explores the engineering, politics and health implications surrounding humans' quest for water, as well as the toxins and [the] changing climate that threaten our supply. The history includes how physician John Snow methodically traced an 1854 cholera outbreak to a single water pump in London, New York City's evolution from a disease-ridden metropolis to one that boasts about its tap water, and the innovative technologies that may avert global water poverty."

Professor Salzman, a law professor at Duke University, has long been interested in the history of water and in 2006 had a scholarly paper titled "Thirst: A Short History of Drinking Water" in the Yale Journal of Law & the Humanities. Professor Salzman discusses the origin and evolution of the book here.