The solution that prevailed was the novel idea that British towns must build public water supplies, replacing private companies. But the idea was not an obvious or inevitable one. Those who promoted new waterworks argued that they could use water to realize a new kind of British society--a productive social machine, a new moral community, and a modern civilization. They did not merely cite the dangers of epidemic or scarcity. Despite many debates and conflicts, this vision won out--in town after town, from Birmingham to Liverpool to Edinburgh, authorities gained new powers to execute municipal water systems.
But in London local government responded to environmental pressures with a plan intended to help remake the metropolis into a collectivist society. The Conservative national government, in turn, sought to impose a water administration over the region that would achieve its own competing political and social goals. The contestants over London's water supply matched divergent strategies for administering London's water with contending visions of modern society. And the matter was never pedestrian. The struggle over these visions was joined by some of the most colorful figures of the late Victorian period, including John Burns, Lord Salisbury, Bernard Shaw, and Sidney and Beatrice Webb.
As Broich demonstrates, the debate over how to supply London with water came to a head when the climate itself forced the endgame near the end of the nineteenth century. At that decisive moment, the Conservative party succeeded in dictating the relationship between water, power, and society in London for many decades to come.
Mindful of theoretical questions about what hastens technological change and how society and technology mutually influence one another, the author supplies a thoughtful and instructive study. Archeological, historical, and literary evidence vividly depicts those who designed, constructed, and used medieval water systems and demonstrates a shift from a public-administrative to a private-innovative framework—one that argues for the importance of local initiatives.
"The following chapters attempt to chart a course between the Scylla and Charybdis of technological and social determinism. While writing them, I have tried to strike a balance between the technical and human aspects of medieval hydraulic systems, and to remember that beneath the welter of documents and diffusion patterns, configurations and components, ordinances and expenditures, lie the perceptions, the choices, and often the plain hard work of individual men and women." —from the Preface
The sheer diversity of subjects, strength of arguments, force of articulation and the breadth of vision offered here is sure to provoke the reader to think about India. It highlights that the future of the emerging urban society lies in the proper management of waste and not in mere disposal. It comprehensive index facilitates easy reference and accessibility to the reader. As such, it will be useful for policy makers, administrators, research scholars and other stakeholders.
In this richly detailed book, historian Leslie Tomory shows how new technologies imported from the Continent, including waterwheel-driven piston pumps, spurred the rapid growth of London’s water industry. The business was further sustained by an explosion in consumer demand, particularly in the city’s wealthy West End. Meanwhile, several key local innovations reshaped the industry by enlarging the size of the supply network. By 1800, the success of London’s water industry made it a model for other cities in Europe and beyond as they began to build their own water networks. The city’s water infrastructure even inspired builders of other large-scale urban projects, including gas and sewage supply networks.
The History of the London Water Industry, 1580–1820 explores the technological, cultural, and mercantile factors that created and sustained this remarkable industry. Tomory examines how the joint-stock form became popular with water companies, providing a stable legal structure that allowed for expansion. He also explains how the roots of the London water industry’s divergence from the Continent and even from other British cities was rooted both in the size of London as a market and in the late seventeenth-century consumer revolution. This fascinating and unique study of essential utilities in the early modern period will interest business historians and historians of science and technology alike.-- Robin Pearson, University of Hull, author of Insuring the Industrial Revolution: Fire Insurance in Great Britain, 1700–1850
Water and Urbanism in Roman Britainargues that the creation of Roman water infrastructure forged a meaningful entanglement between the process of urbanisation and significant local landscape contexts. As a result, it suggests that archetypal Roman urban water features were often more related to an active expression of local hybrid identities, rather than alignment to an incoming continental ideal. By questioning the familiarity of these aspects of the ancient urban form, we can move away from the unhelpful idea that Roman precedent is a central tenet of the current unsustainable relationship between water and our modern cities.
This monograph will be of interest to academics and students studying aspects of Roman water management, urbanisation in Roman Britain, and theoretical approaches to landscape. It will also appeal to those working more generally on past human interactions with the natural world.
In 1907, Irish immigrant William Mulholland conceived and built one of the greatest civil engineering feats in history: the aqueduct that carried water 223 miles from the Sierra Nevada mountains to Los Angeles—allowing this small, resource-challenged desert city to grow into a modern global metropolis. Drawing on new research, Les Standiford vividly captures the larger-then-life engineer and the breathtaking scope of his six-year, $23 million project that would transform a region, a state, and a nation at the dawn of its greatest century.
With energy and colorful detail, Water to the Angels brings to life the personalities, politics, and power—including bribery, deception, force, and bicoastal financial warfare—behind this dramatic event. At a time when the importance of water is being recognized as never before—considered by many experts to be the essential resource of the twenty-first century—Water to the Angels brings into focus the vigor of a fabled era, the might of a larger than life individual, and the scale of a priceless construction project, and sheds critical light on a past that offers insights for our future.
Water to the Angels includes 8 pages of photographs.
The Water Dreamers is a story for all Australians.
For thousands of years, water has shaped where we live, how we struggle with each other and how we imagine our country. The first settlers' dreams of mighty inland rivers evaporated in the silent deserts of Australia. But the water dreamers refused to accept this disappointment. They saw a country that could be transformed by irrigation and hydro-engineering. Today, thanks to their vision, many of our rivers are in crisis and, more than ever, Australians realise that our destiny will be shaped by water.
The Water Dreamers is an enthralling new account of Australian history and of who we are today.
'Both rollicking yarn and scholarly essay, this wonderful book offers an archaeology of our national psyche. With vivid imagery, irreverent wit and penetrating insight, Michael Cathcart exposes the cultural forces that still powerfully shape our plans for this land. The Water Dreamers is exhilarating to read-intelligent, wry and compelling.' Tom Griffiths
The Mekong River links together the mainland countries of Southeast Asia in a vital geographic, but also economic and political, unit. Its historical trajectory coursed through kingdoms and colonies, and its physical presence and symbolism became more acute as it came closer to modern times. Tracing the history of the Mekong River, this book shows how its conceptualizations have been transformed in modern times, and particularly during the Vietnam War when the Mekong River and Mekong Project became political pawns.
In the 1950s, the decision was made to develop the river's resources to foster economic development for the four countries of the lower Mekong basin. The Mekong Project, as it came to be known, proposed the construction of a set of major dams on the mainstream and of numerous smaller ones on the tributaries to bring hydropower, flood control, irrigation, and other benefits to the riparian countries. The Project, however, was subverted to the needs of the Vietnam War. With the return of peace, the Mekong countries can re-examine the future of the river and its potential impact on the region. Nguyen concludes by examining the continuation of some of the Project's schemes by the independent Southeast Asian countries and regional powers. Scholars and researchers interested in Southeast Asian history and economic development, environmental history, and rural sociology will find this an important study.
Drawing on period representations of the city in sculptures, texts, and maps, The Death of Aztec Tenochtitlan, the Life of Mexico City builds a convincing case that this global capital remained, through the sixteenth century, very much an Amerindian city. Barbara E. Mundy foregrounds the role the city's indigenous peoples, the Nahua, played in shaping Mexico City through the construction of permanent architecture and engagement in ceremonial actions. She demonstrates that the Aztec ruling elites, who retained power even after the conquest, were instrumental in building and then rebuilding the city. Mundy shows how the Nahua entered into mutually advantageous alliances with the Franciscans to maintain the city's sacred nodes. She also focuses on the practical and symbolic role of the city's extraordinary waterworks—the product of a massive ecological manipulation begun in the fifteenth century—to reveal how the Nahua struggled to maintain control of water resources in early Mexico City.
The most comprehensive—and comprehensible—book on contemporary water issues, A Thirsty Land delves deep into the challenges faced not just by Texas but by the nation as a whole, as we struggle to find a way to balance the changing forces of nature with our own ever-expanding needs. Part history, part science, part adventure story, and part travelogue, this book puts a human face on the struggle to master that most precious and capricious of resources, water. Seamus McGraw goes to the taproots, talking to farmers, ranchers, businesspeople, and citizen activists, as well as to politicians and government employees. Their stories provide chilling evidence that Texas—and indeed the nation—is not ready for the next devastating drought, the next catastrophic flood. Ultimately, however, A Thirsty Land delivers hope. This deep dive into one of the most vexing challenges facing Texas and the nation offers glimpses of the way forward in the untapped opportunities that water also presents.