Water is a molecular marvel. Its seemingly simple formula—H2O—dictates the properties that make water both essential for life and easily contaminated. Herein lies the paradox of water: we cannot live without it, but it is easily rendered “unsafe.” The Paradox of Water explores the intersection of the scientific, social, and policy implications around access to safe drinking water. Drinking water is the smallest fraction of water used by a nation. Yet, the quality of this fraction is what dictates whether a community is healthy, educated, and economically sustained.
Bhawani Venkataraman argues that a deeper understanding of the chemical nature of water is crucial to appreciating the challenges around access to safe drinking water. Drawing on recent research and case studies from the US and abroad, this book offers students an understanding of:
- the processes and oversight needed to ensure the safety of drinking water
- the role of the precautionary principle in managing drinking water
- potential solutions for expanding sustainable and equitable access to safe drinking water