He who drinks a bit of London water has literally in his stomach more animated beings than there are men, women and children on the face of the earth.
Sir Edwin Chadwick (1800-1890) lead important reforms in urban sanitation and public health: Based on "Report on the sanitary condition of the laboring population of Great Britain (1842)".
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In 1852, Dr John Snow (1813–1858) found cholera deaths linked to contaminated water from public pumps, including the one by his favourite pub on Broad Street.
Plastic in our water: What can we do?
Improper disposal, urban run-off, and industrial waste pollute rivers, lakes, and oceans with plastic. Wind and rain also carry plastic into the oceans. Plastic stays forever! Even if it breaks into small pieces, it harms nature and reduces water quality. Curious animals, such as sea turtles, often play with the plastic pieces and get stuck in them. Or they think it's food and eat it. Help fight plastic monsters: Use bins, avoid single-use plastic, and make others aware. Participate in clean-up days and turn the trash into art!
About two-thirds of the Earth's freshwater is locked up in glaciers and ice caps.
Less than a third of our drinking water supply is in the ground, called groundwater.
Lakes and rivers make up a very small part of our freshwater resources, but are crucial for many people!
Drinking water comes from rivers, lakes, and aquifers that are treated and piped to our homes. In the past, public wells were common. With only 2.5% freshwater on Earth, cities must manage it wisely in the face of population growth, pollution, and climate change.
In cities, wastewater from homes and businesses flows through pipes, running from toilets and drains into sewers and main sewers. It’s screened and disinfected in plants to prevent contamination. The treated water is then discharged or reused. To use water more sustainably, countries such as Sweden and Norway are researching waterless toilets.
Thames Water serves 15 million customers and spends millions each year clearing 75,000 blockages, or “fatbergs”, from its sewers. Every day they remove 30 tonnes of non-flushable items such as oil, grease, and wet wipes. Recycle or toss your waste in the trash, instead of flushing it!
Water protection around the globe
How cities around the world are protecting water quality and resources:
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The power of the cartoonist
William Heath (1794–1840) was a Scottish artist. His popular cartoons, like “Monster Soup” about the water in London, poked fun at what was happening in his time. He signed his drawings with a tiny picture of an actor called Peter Pry and a funny sentence.
William Heath called himself P. Pry at first. People liked his cartoons so much that others copied him. At some point he revealed his real name, but he continued to draw eye-catching cartoons.
Want to know more?
THE LONDON WATER CRISIS (1828) AND "THE GREAT STINK" (1858)
Ackroyd, P. (2001). London: The Biography. Anchor Books. Allsop, D. T. (2009). Joseph Bazalgette and the cleansing of the Victorian metropolis. Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers: Engineering History and Heritage, 162(2), 79-90.
Allsop, D. T. (2015). The water supply of London: A history (Vol. 1). Routledge. Anderson, V. (1984). Water supply and demand in London, 1800-1860. Journal of Historical Geography, 10(3), 277-292.
Chen, Y. T. (2019). The Thames Embankment and the Great Stink: An Environmental History of Metropolitan London, 1855-1900. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.
Halliday, S. (1997). The Great Stink of London: Sir Joseph Bazalgette and the cleansing of the Victorian metropolis. http://repository.londonmet.ac.uk/7329/1/DX202873.pdf
Halliday, S. (2000). The Great Stink revisited: Sir Joseph Bazalgette and the cleansing of the Victorian metropolis. Water and Environment Journal, 14(4), 241-246.
Jackson, Lee (2014). Dirty old London. The victorian fight agains filth. Yale University Press.
Sleigh, R. (1983). The Great Stink of London. New Scientist, 99(1370), 21-24.
Stawley-Wadham, Rose (2021). This Pestilential Stream - Exploring the "Great Stink" of 1858. Blogpost, retrieved fron the British Newspaper Archives: https://blog.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/2021/02/12/exploring-the-great-stink-of-1858/ Thacker, C. (2005). The Great Stink of London: Sir Joseph Bazalgette and the cleansing of the Victorian metropolis. The British Journal for the History of Science, 38(2), 259-260.
CHOLERA AND WATER-BORNE DISEASES
Hamlin, C. (2009). Cholera : the biography. Oxford University Press.
Snowden, F. M. (2019). Epidemics and society : from the Black Death to the present. Yale University Press.
SATIRICAL PRESS AND CARICATURE IN GEORGIAN / 19th CENTURY BRITAIN
Baker, G. (2001). William Heath (1794-1840) and the Changing Face of Regency Caricature. History Today, 51(4), 33-39. Frost, Mark edt. (2022). Environment and Ecology in the long Nineteenth Century, vol. 1. Routledge. Gentles, I. (2013). The Public Sphere in Britain, 1680-1840. Boydell Press.
Goldman, L. (2011). Satire and the Emergence of Propaganda in Nineteenth-Century Britain. The Historical Journal, 54(2), 473-494.
Hamilton, J. (2012). The Satirical Press in Nineteenth-Century Britain. Oxford University Press.
Hardy, D. (1998). From satire to subversion: The metamorphosis of caricature in late Georgian England. Oxford University Press.
Hart-Davidson, W. (1996). The Uses of Satire: The Daily Press and Nineteenth-Century Reading Audiences. Victorian Periodicals Review, 29(2), 120-141.
Mellby, J. H. (2009). Punch and the Victorian Scene. Cornell University Library.
McShane, J. (1994). The political economy of the Victorian press. University of Toronto Press.
Neuzil, M. (2008). The Environment and the Press: From Adventure Writing to Advocacy. Evanston: Northwestern University Press.
Noakes, Richard (). "Punch" and comic journalism in mid-Victorian Britain. Chapter 4. In : Cantor, G., Dawson, G., Gooday, G., Noakes, R., Shuttleworth, S. and Topham, J.R. 'Science in the nineteenth-century periodical: reading the magazine of nature' Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 91-122.
Sachsman, D.B; Valenti, J.M (2020). Routledge Handbook of Environmental Journalism. Scheel, T.; Zekavat, M. (2023). Satire, Humor and Environmental Crises. Routledge Explorations in Environmental Studies.
Taylor, B. (2004). 'The Pen and the Graver': Satirical Prints in the Age of Hogarth and Rowlandson. The Huntington Library Quarterly, 67(4), 539-560.
HISTORY AND HERITAGE OF WATER MANAGEMENT
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Federica, S., & Innocent, P. (2018). Water and Society from Ancient Times to the Present: Resilience, decline and revival (1st ed.). Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315560144
Gandy, M. (2014). The Fabric of Space: Water, Modernity, and the Urban Imagination (1st ed.). The MIT Press. https://doi.org/10.7551/mitpress/8313.001.0001
Hein, C. (2020). Adaptive Strategies for Water Heritage: Past, Present and Future (1st ed. 2020.). Springer Nature. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-00268-8.
Müller, U., Nicola, C., & Haug, A. (2020). The Power of Urban Water: Studies in Premodern Urbanism. De Gruyter. https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110677065
Saravanan, V. (2020). Water and the environmental history of modern India. Bloomsbury Academic.
CLEAN DRINKING-WATER AND SANITATION IN URBAN AREAS
Water Governance in Cities. (2016). OECD Publishing.
The Oxford Handbook of Water Politics and Policy (1st ed.). (2018). Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199335084.001.0001
Adamowski, J. F., Chew, C., Wals, A., Mayer, I., & Medema, W. (2020). Understanding Game-based Approaches for Improving Sustainable Water Governance: The Potential of Serious Games to Solve Water Problems. MDPI - Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute. https://doi.org/10.3390/books978-3-03928-763-5
Bakker, K. J. (2010). Privatizing water : governance failure and the world’s urban water crisis. Cornell University Press.
Bandyopadhyay, S., Magsi, H., Sen, S., & Ponce Dentinho, T. (2020). Water Management in South Asia: Socio-Economic, Infrastructural, Environmental and Institutional Aspects (1st ed.). Springer International Publishing AG. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-35237-0
Biswas, A. K. (2020). Phnom Penh Water Story: Remarkable Transformation of an Urban Water Utility (1st Edition 2021). Springer Nature. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-33-4065-7
Bolognesi, T., Silva Pinto, F., & Farrelly, M. (2022). Routledge handbook of urban water governance.
Bozorg-Haddad, O. (2021). Economical, Political, and Social Issues in Water Resources. Elsevier.
Bull, M. J. (2019). A framework for improving access to safe drinking water and sanitation in African urban centers. Journal of Environmental Health, 81(5), 26-33.
Cook, M., Frost, L., Gaynor, A., Gregory, J., Morgan, R. A., Shanahan, M., & Spearritt, P. (2022). Cities in a sunburnt country : water and the making of urban Australia. Cambridge University Press.
Driessen, P., Hofman, J., van Leeuwen, C. J. (Kees), & Frijns, J. (2019). The Challenges of Water Management and Governance in Cities. MDPI. https://doi.org/10.3390/books978-3-03921-151-7. Available online: The_Challenges_of_Water_Management_and_Governance_in_Cities.pdf (mdpi-res.com)
Gao, J., & Kobayashi, N. (2015). Clean water supply and sanitation in China's cities: Challenges and opportunities. Journal of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for Development, 5(1), 15-26.
Gilardoni, A. (2018). The Italian Water Industry: Cases of Excellence (1st ed. 2018 edition.). Springer International Publishing AG. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-71336-6
Gleick, P. H. (2016). The world's water volume 8: The biennial report on freshwater resources. Island Press.
He, B., Liu, A., Ayoko, G., Egodawatta, P., Wijesiri, B., & Goonetilleke, A. (2023). Environmental Risks Posed by Microplastics in Urban Waterways (1st ed.). Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-99-0628-4
Kaiser, G. (2021). Parched - the Cape Town Drought Story (1st Edition 2021). Springer International Publishing AG. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-78889-6
Lazaro, L. L. B., Giatti, L. L., Valente de Macedo, L. S., & Puppim de Oliveira, J. A. (2022). Water-Energy-Food Nexus and Climate Change in Cities. Springer International Publishing AG. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-05472-3
Machemehl, C., Sirost, O., & Ducrotoy, J.-P. (2020). Reclaiming and Rewilding River Cities for Outdoor Recreation (1st ed.). Springer International Publishing AG. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-48709-6
Marr, L. C., & Wilhelm, R. G. (2019). Clean water and sanitation: A sustainable strategy to reduce childhood infectious disease in low- and middle-income countries. Tropical Medicine and Infectious Disease, 4(2), 57.
Memon, F. A., & Ward, S. (2014). Alternative Water Supply Systems (1st ed.). IWA Publishing.
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Qadri, H., Bhat, R. A., Mehmood, M. A., & Dar, G. H. (2019). Fresh Water Pollution Dynamics and Remediation (1st ed.). Springer Singapore Pte. Limited. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-13-8277-2
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Rola, A. C., Pulhin, J. M., & Arcala Hall, R. (2018). Water Policy in the Philippines: Issues, Initiatives, and Prospects (1st ed. 2018 edition., Vol. 8). Springer International Publishing AG. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-70969-7
Rowe, P. G., & Hee, L. (2019). A City in Blue and Green: The Singapore Story (1st ed. 2019.). Springer Nature. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-13-9597-0
Shaffer, C. A., Morley, R., & Godfrey, S. (2017). Urban water and sanitation services: Building blocks for the city of tomorrow. World Bank Group.
Shrestha, S. (2014). Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation in Water Resources and Water Use Sectors: Case Studies from Southeast Asia (1st ed.). Springer International Publishing AG. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-09746-6
Tomory, Leslie (2017). The history of the London water industry 1580-1820. John Hopkins University Press.
UNICEF. (2017). Water, sanitation and hygiene in urban areas. UNICEF.
Zelenakova, Martina. (Ed.). (2018). Water Management and the Environment: Case Studies (1st ed. 2018.). Springer International Publishing. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-79014-5
Younos, T., & Parece, T. E. (2016). Sustainable Water Management in Urban Environments (1st ed., Vol. 47). Springer Nature. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-29337-0
Wright, J. A., Yang, H., & Gundry, S. W. (2019). Assessing the impact of drinking water and sanitation on diarrhoeal disease in low- and middle-income settings: Systematic review and meta-regression. Tropical Medicine & International Health, 24(1), 16-33.