This image is the cover for the book Water


An award-winning, alarming account of “one of the central challenges facing civilization” (The Washington Post Book World).

Offering ecological, historical, and cultural perspectives, this “well-researched and thought-provoking book” (Minneapolis Tribune) explains how we are using, misusing, and abusing our planet’s most vital resource.

Reporting from hot spots as diverse as China, Las Vegas, and the Middle East, where swelling populations and unchecked development have stressed fresh water supplies nearly beyond remedy, this account reveals how political struggles for control of water are raging around the globe, and rampant pollution increases already dire environmental threats. This powerful narrative about the lifeblood of civilizations is “a wake-up call for concerned citizens, environmentalists, policymakers, and water drinkers everywhere” (Publishers Weekly).

Winner of the Governor General’s Award

Marq de Villiers

Marq de Villiers is the author of six books on exploration, history, politics, and travel, including Into Africa: A Journey Through the Ancient Empires and With Tribe Dreaming, his award-winning memoir of growing up in South Africa. He resides in Nova Scotia, Canada.

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (