The Al Gore of Water?


Author Steven Solomon has suggested our country needs an Al Gore for water – an advocate who will do for water what the former vice president has done for climate change. Solomon just might be the voice we need to focus public attention on the problems – and solutions – for the future of clean water.

In his new book, Water: The Epic Struggle for Wealth, Power, and Civilization, Solomon paints a vivid picture of how water has shaped our history and how it is playing an increasingly vital role in our national security.

Publisher’s Weekly writes:
“This sprawling text reconstructs the history of civilization in order to illuminate the importance of water in human development from the first civilizations of the Fertile Crescent and the Indus River Valley to the present. Solomon (The Confidence Game) advances a persuasive argument: the prosperity of nations and empires has depended on their access to water and their ability to harness water resources. The story he tells is familiar, but his emphasis on water is unique: he shows how the Nile’s flood patterns determined political unity and dynastic collapses in Egypt. He suggests that the construction of China’s Grand Canal made possible a sixth-century reunification that eluded the Roman Empire. Finally, he attributes America’s rise to superpower status to such 20th-century water innovations as the Panama Canal and Hoover Dam. Solomon surveys the current state of the world’s water resources by region, making a compelling case that the U.S. and other leading democracies have untapped strategic advantages that will only become more significant as water becomes scarcer.”

Read an essay by Solomon in Grist about Water and the War on Terror

Visit Solomon’s water blog