Water: A Global History

Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review


Essential to human life, our bodies are brimming with water. Although it covers approximately seventy per cent of the world's surface, acquiring suitable drinking water has proved to be a perpetual challenge for humans. Water: A Global History tells the story of how our relationship with the necessary elixir has developed and changed over time. Dating back to our very beginning, water has offered a variety of uses and problems. It wasn't until the nineteenth century that scientists alarmingly discovered that water supplies can contain thousands of deadly germs, and there is still a modern issue of supplying accessible water to non-western countries. However, water also has distinct medicinal proprieties, and people have looked to it for more than just drink since ancient times. Ranging from tea to alcohol, humans have worked hard to create more palatable versions of the drink, but the past two hundred years have turned drinking water into a majorly commercialised, profitable product.Water: A Global History explores the natural history of water, but also the changing cultural perceptions and adaptations of it that have occurred across millennia. Filled with beautiful illustrations and modern water recipes, this book provides a fully global view of drinking water and the issues and delights it provides for us.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherReaktion Books
Number of pages144
ISBN (Print)9781780234566
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 1 Sept 2015


  • history of drinking water
  • history of food
  • history of water


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