This well-researched book provides a sobering, in-depth look at the growing scarcity of fresh water and the increasing privatization and corporate control of this nonrenewable resource. Barlow, national volunteer chair of the Council of Canadians, and Clarke, director of the Polaris Institute of Canada and chair of the committee on corporations for the International Forum on Globalization, describe how transnational corporations (Bechtel, Vivendi, et al.) through their water subsidiaries are making water a growth industry for the 21st century. The authors criticize mandatory privatization of water services as a condition of debt rescheduling and proposed international trade agreements for negatively impacting public ownership of water, public-sector water services, and governmental authority to regulate. Although the investigative reporting is similar to that in Marq de Villiers’s Water and Jeffrey Rothfeder’s Every Drop for Sale, the authors’ sophisticated economic analysis of water as a scarce commodity distinguishes this book from the other two. The concluding chapters set forth goals, principles for safeguarding the world’s water, and steps for water security in more detail than de Villiers’s water strategies. The proposals for corrective legislation, lobbying, and citizen environmental action make this book a highly recommended purchase for public and academic libraries. Margaret Aycock, Gulf Coast Environmental Lib., Beaumont, TX Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. –This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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