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What Is Water? The History of a Modern Abstraction; Jamie Linton; 2010; UBC Press

Tags: water Linton
What Is Water? The History of a Modern Abstraction; Jamie Linton; 2010; UBC Press

What Is Water? The History of a Modern Abstraction.  Jamie Linton; 2010. UBC Press  

"Every water issue is a social issue. And yet, in contrast to almost every other culture, we define water in the modern West as a substance entirely devoid of social content. How is it that we have come to think of water in this way, as an abstract compound of hydrogen and oxygen, and what are the consequences?


These questions underlie Jamie Linton’s What is Water?, a history of the particular way of conceptualizing water that predominated in the twentieth century. In this wide-ranging study, Linton shows how scientific practice, the modern state, technology, and politics produced an idea of water that helped permit its manipulation and control on a vast scale, with corresponding effects on human society. That much of the world is engulfed today in what many describe as a "water crisis" suggests the need to rethink the nature of water. By reinvesting water with social content -- by considering water’s social nature -- Linton suggests a fresh approach to a fundamental problem."

Source of above and futher info here

(An important book in developing conceptual approaches to water in the social sciences and beyond)


Dead right; now that the English Government (I use that term advisedly) has commodified everything; water is just another commodity. Hence the Water Act 2014 is almost entirely based on this vision. There is no space to integrated approaches nor multiple benefits from managing water with green infrastructure or linlde to other needs of society. This is why London is hell bent on the stupid new sewer tunnel. It's too difficult to use SuDS as too many people would need to be involved. Stuff and nonsense as they say. Even in Denmark, where they have privatised water, the main aspects like flooding have still been left with the municipalities. Only in England are people completely disenfranchised from water.