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Rupert Wright

Take me to the source

Water is a significant part of our lives, but it is something that we tend to take for granted. In Take me to the source: in search of water Rupert Wright suggests that we should treat water with more respect.

Wright explains how water infrastructure has been a vital part of the design cities, from Roman times, when water gardens and fountains were a means of displaying wealth, to today where we find out about the huge project of building Manhattan's City Tunnel Number Three. The book also shows how the importance of water is reflected in its position in literary works and in religious practices. So water is vital, but it can also be the source of disease. Wright tells of his work in Uganda to prevent such disease, and of the progress of a project in New Delhi to bring piped water to more people. The message seems to be that it's the little things that matter, and we should beware of the big projects.

I felt that this was a book which dipped into a large number of topics but didn't go into any of them particularly deeply. In particular the explanation of the science of water at the start didn't really tell the reader anything. But if you're happy with that then you'll find this book an interesting, and maybe thought provoking read.