Purified: How Recycled Sewage Is Transforming Our Water

Island Pr. Nov. 2023. 256p. ISBN 9781642832815. pap. $28. SCI
Environmental journalist Annin (The Great Lakes Water Wars) presents a geographical and political overview of the fresh water shortage and proposed solutions throughout the U.S. The book covers the failure of San Diego’s efforts to turn waste water into drinkable water in the 1990s, credited in part to the terrible tagline “From toilet to tap”; the successful Water Factory 21 project in Orange County, CA; coastline dangers in Norfolk, VA; Texas’s attempts at potable programs in Big Spring and Wichita Falls; Tampa’s ongoing issues; Los Angeles’s recent big proposals; and the continuous disappearance of the Colorado River. The science is as interesting as the politics in this book. Each chapter reveals that the imperative for clean water isn’t universally accepted in each community. Maps at the beginning of each chapter aid in the understanding of the geography, and numerous charts explain the science of purification, including the differences in East Coast and West Coast systems. There are water success stories in Wisconsin and New England, but the threat of mega droughts and aridification never abates.
VERDICT A concise, imperative primer on the science and politics of the United States’ fresh-water crisis.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing