Reviews elsewhere on the web:
The Guardian
The Independent

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. info
Hardcover 288 pages  
ISBN: 1846550718
Salesrank: 3528108
Published: 2008 Random House UK
Amazon price $6.95
Marketplace:New from $6.95:Used from $0.38
Buy from info
Paperback 288 pages  
ISBN: 0099512289
Salesrank: 2666415
Weight:0.53 lbs
Published: 2009 Vintage
Amazon price £1.54
Marketplace:New from £1.05:Used from £0.01
Buy from info
Hardcover 288 pages  
ISBN: 1846550718
Salesrank: 4419813
Weight:1.1 lbs
Published: 2008 Harvill Secker
Amazon price CDN$ 39.95
Marketplace:New from CDN$ 6.80:Used from CDN$ 1.00
Buy from

Product Description
Colorless, tasteless, odorless, ageless: water is both the simplest thing on earth and the most complex. We cannot live without it, yet water-borne illnesses kill 6,000 children a day. It is the ultimate renewable resource but we pollute it on a heroic scale. In this enthralling voyage of discovery, Rupert Wright sets out to discover exactly what water is and why it plays such an important role in history, culture, art, and literature. He penetrates to the heart of the development world supposedly bringing piped water to the poor, and visits a bishop in Brazil willing to give up his life to save a river and a child in India who waits by the roadside every morning for a bucket of water. Why, if water is so valuable does nobody want to pay for it unless it comes in a designer bottle? Is it really the oil of the 21st century? Will we all soon be fighting over it, or can it lead countries into cooperation rather than conflict?