It comes in weighty with some 600 pages, but that’s not why ‘Evolution of Water Supply Through the Millennia’ shakes in your hands. The book vibrates with that impassioned knowledge that engineers sometimes allow themselves. Clearly a labour of love, it is fabulous, in the true sense of the word, relying on ancient fables, legends, parchment scripts and original stone tablets for some of its tales.
It sweeps us from the early treatment and delivery of water in such societies as ancient Egypt, Greece, Mexico and Peru, up to today. The vision and precision of our forebears puts into perspective, in the unfailing spotlight of history, today’s breath-taking dilemma of all the tech in the world and three to four billion people with unsafe water. When did we lose the plot?
We found this book and its committed authors, a full 500 days too many after publication, when scoping our video on the history of safe water. It is both gorgeous and instructive, and the more the pity that the authors and publishers see it as just a course book for post-graduates. Well, ok – for historically-informed engineers are the best – but it deserves a wider circle of admirers than that.
Evolution of Water Supply Through the Millennia, by Angelakis, Mays, Koutsoyiannis and Mamassis, 584 p, ISBN 9781843395409
International Water Association, www.iwapublishing.com