More related to water supply

As people crowded into British cities in the nineteenth century, industrial and biological waste byproducts and then epidemic followed. Britons died by the thousands in recurring plagues. Figures like Edwin Chadwick and John Snow pleaded for measures that could save lives and preserve the social fabric.

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.

Most histories of medicine focus on the elite royal colleges of London and the exotic diseases and squalor of the city slums, but, according to Richard Moore, the real story of the emergence of healthcare as an integral component of the welfare state was written in the provincial shires. His focus is on Shropshire, but much of Shropshire Doctors & Quacks refl ects what was going on in the country at large. The practice of medicine emerged thanks to the efforts and experiments of a disparate group of practitioners, who competed in the marketplace with quacks and charlatans and eventually achieved legal recognition as a profession in the 1858 Medical Act. Emphasis is placed on the role played by collective and individual voluntary activity, in contrast to the scanty health related activities of government. The book contains much previously unpublished archival material, and is all brought vividly to life by case studies, anecdotes, contemporary prints and cartoons. Richard Moore is a fellow of the Royal College of General Practitioners and the author of From Leeches to Lasers: Sketches of a Medical Family. His family has thrown up nine generations of medical men and women since 1740 (his is the seventh). Moore's insightful take on his home county's Aesculapian history has many implications for healthcare today, including the future of the NHS. As he asks in his speculative coda, 'Who cares?' It is a question our forebears tackled with creativity and compassion, and Moore wonders if twenty-fi rst-century institutions can live up to their example.
Beginning in 1580, a number of competing London companies sold water directly to consumers through a large network of wooden mains in the expanding metropolis. This new water industry flourished throughout the 1600s, eventually expanding to serve tens of thousands of homes. By the late eighteenth century, more than 80 percent of the city’s houses had water connections—making London the best-served metropolis in the world while demonstrating that it was legally, commercially, and technologically possible to run an infrastructure network within the largest city on earth.

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
The establishment of large-scale water infrastructure is a defining aspect of the process of urbanisation. In places like Britain, the Roman period represents the first introduction of features that can be recognised and paralleled to our modern water networks. Writers have regularly cast these innovations as markers of a uniform Roman identity spreading throughout the Empire, and bringing with it a familiar, modern, sense of what constitutes civilised urban living. However, this is a view that has often neglected to explain how such developments were connected to the important symbolic and ritual traditions of waterscapes in Iron Age Britain.

Water and Urbanism in Roman Britain

argues 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.

Tracing the history of the Mekong River, this book shows how its conceptualization and utilization have been transformed in modern times, and particularly during the Vietnam war when the Mekong River and Mekong Project became political pawns. Nguyen concludes by examining the continuation of some of the Project's schemes by the independent Southeast Asian countries and regional powers.

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.

The capital of the Aztec empire, Tenochtitlan, was, in its era, one of the largest cities in the world. Built on an island in the middle of a shallow lake, its population numbered perhaps 150,000, with another 350,000 people in the urban network clustered around the lake shores. In 1521, at the height of Tenochtitlan's power, which extended over much of Central Mexico, Hernando Cortés and his followers conquered the city. Cortés boasted to King Charles V of Spain that Tenochtitlan was "destroyed and razed to the ground." But was it?

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.

"[An] exhaustive, deeply reported account... Few other journalists could have written a book as personal and authoritative... As Arax makes plain in this important book, it's been the same story in California for almost two centuries now: When it comes to water, 'the resource is finite. The greed isn't.'"--Gary Krist, The New York Times Book Review

A vivid, searching journey into California's capture of water and soil--the epic story of a people's defiance of nature and the wonders, and ruin, it has wrought

Mark Arax is from a family of Central Valley farmers, a writer with deep ties to the land who has watched the battles over water intensify even as California lurches from drought to flood and back again. In The Dreamt Land, he travels the state to explore the one-of-a-kind distribution system, built in the 1940s, '50s and '60s, that is straining to keep up with California's relentless growth.

This is a heartfelt, beautifully written book about the land and the people who have worked it--from gold miners to wheat ranchers to small fruit farmers and today's Big Ag. Since the beginning, Californians have redirected rivers, drilled ever-deeper wells and built higher dams, pushing the water supply past its limit.

The Dreamt Land weaves reportage, history and memoir to confront the "Golden State" myth in riveting fashion. No other chronicler of the West has so deeply delved into the empires of agriculture that drink so much of the water. The nation's biggest farmers--the nut king, grape king and citrus queen--tell their story here for the first time.
This is a tale of politics and hubris in the arid West, of imported workers left behind in the sun and the fatigued earth that is made to give more even while it keeps sinking. But when drought turns to flood once again, all is forgotten as the farmers plant more nuts and the developers build more houses.

Arax, the native son, is persistent and tough as he treks from desert to delta, mountain to valley. What he finds is hard earned, awe-inspiring, tragic and revelatory. In the end, his compassion for the land becomes an elegy to the dream that created California and now threatens to undo it.
In the wake of the devastating 1906 earthquake and fire, the city of San Francisco desperately needed reliable supplies of water and electricity. Its mayor, James Phelan, pressed for the damming of the Tuolumne River in the newly created Yosemite National Park, setting off a firestorm of protest. For the first time in American history, a significant national opposition arose to defend and preserve nature, led by John Muir and the Sierra Club, who sought to protect what they believed was the right of all Americans to experience natural beauty, particularly the magnificent mountains of the Yosemite region. Yet the defenders of the valley, while opposing the creation of a dam and reservoir, did not intend for it to be maintained as wilderness. Instead they advocated a different kind of development--the building of roads, hotels, and an infrastructure to support recreational tourism. Using articles, pamphlets, and broadsides, they successfully whipped up public opinion against the dam. Letters from individuals began to pour into Congress by the thousands, and major newspapers published editorials condemning the dam. The fight went to the floor of Congress, where politicians debated the value of scenery and the costs of western development. Ultimately, passage of the passage of the Raker Act in 1913 by Congress granted San Francisco the right to flood the Hetch Hetchy Valley. A decade later the O'Shaughnessy Dam, the second largest civil engineering project of its day after the Panama Canal, was completed. Yet conflict continued over the ownership of the watershed and the profits derived from hydroelectrocity. To this day the reservoir provides San Francisco with a pure and reliable source of drinking water and an important source of power. Although the Sierra Club lost this battle, the controversy stirred the public into action on behalf of national parks. Future debates over dams and restoration clearly demonstrated the burgeoning strength of grassroots environmentalism. In a narrative peopled by politicians and business leaders, engineers and laborers, preservationists and ordinary citizens, Robert W. Righter tells the epic story of the first major environmental battle of the twentieth century, which reverberates to this day.
By 1850 the Pima Indians of central Arizona had developed a strong and sustainable agricultural economy based on irrigation. As David H. DeJong demonstrates, the Pima were an economic force in the mid-nineteenth century middle Gila River valley, producing food and fiber crops for western military expeditions and immigrants. Moreover, crops from their fields provided an additional source of food for the Mexican military presidio in Tucson, as well as the U.S. mining districts centered near Prescott. For a brief period of about three decades, the Pima were on an equal economic footing with their non-Indian neighbors.

This economic vitality did not last, however. As immigrants settled upstream from the Pima villages, they deprived the Indians of the water they needed to sustain their economy. DeJong traces federal, territorial, and state policies that ignored Pima water rights even though some policies appeared to encourage Indian agriculture. This is a particularly egregious example of a common story in the West: the flagrant local rejection of Supreme Court rulings that protected Indian water rights. With plentiful maps, tables, and illustrations, DeJong demonstrates that maintaining the spreading farms and growing towns of the increasingly white population led Congress and other government agencies to willfully deny Pimas their water rights.

Had their rights been protected, DeJong argues, Pimas would have had an economy rivaling the local and national economies of the time. Instead of succeeding, the Pima were reduced to cycles of poverty, their lives destroyed by greed and disrespect for the law, as well as legal decisions made for personal gain.
From the Yangtze to the Yellow River, China is traversed by great waterways, which have defined its politics and ways of life for centuries. Water has been so integral to China’s culture, economy, and growth and development that it provides a window on the whole sweep of Chinese history. In The Water Kingdom, renowned writer Philip Ball opens that window to offer an epic and powerful new way of thinking about Chinese civilization.

Water, Ball shows, is a key that unlocks much of Chinese culture. In The Water Kingdom, he takes us on a grand journey through China’s past and present, showing how the complexity and energy of the country and its history repeatedly come back to the challenges, opportunities, and inspiration provided by the waterways. Drawing on stories from travelers and explorers, poets and painters, bureaucrats and activists, all of whom have been influenced by an environment shaped and permeated by water, Ball explores how the ubiquitous relationship of the Chinese people to water has made it an enduring metaphor for philosophical thought and artistic expression. From the Han emperors to Mao, the ability to manage the waters ― to provide irrigation and defend against floods ― was a barometer of political legitimacy, often resulting in engineering works on a gigantic scale. It is a struggle that continues today, as the strain of economic growth on water resources may be the greatest threat to China’s future.

The Water Kingdom offers an unusual and fascinating history, uncovering just how much of China’s art, politics, and outlook have been defined by the links between humanity and nature.
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