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Oct 20 2004
Supplied or written by C. Rickman

Troubled Water Book cover

Troubled Water: Saints, Sinners, Truth and Lies about the Global Water Crisis is out now - - the third title in the activist series of books from Dame Anita Roddick’s publishing imprint, Anita Roddick Publications (

We buy gallons of so-called designer bottled water - some of it no fresher or cleaner than what comes out of our taps, but retails 1,000 times more expensive. A prime example, and who also hit the headlines earlier this year with Dasani “purified, noncarbonated water enhanced with minerals” is the Coca-Cola company who decided years ago that it could make more money selling us water than soda pop. Yet 1 billion people worldwide do not have any water within a 15 minute walk of their homes. Over 300 million people - some say more - have been displaced by dams worldwide. There are now so many dams on earth, they have literally caused the planet to wobble on its axis.

In towns from Cochabamba, Boliva to Atlanta, Georgia, private corporations have taken over public water utilities, jacking up prices and forcing thousands to choose between paying the water bill or buying shoes for the kids. Meanwhile, as prices go up, in almost every case water quality goes down.

Fortunately, communities are learning to demand better and organizing to force corporations and the governments that enable them, to give back what is and should be considered a human right instead of a commodity to be traded for profit. The culture of fighting back is winning some important victories, but the struggle has many fronts and innumerable corporate and bureaucratic villains. Thankfully, there are plenty of community and organizational saints and this book is about knowing the enemies and celebrating the heroes.

A selection of essays and contributors:

·The Lords Of Water by Maude Barlow and Tony Clarke
·River of Dream – Robert F Kennedy Jr
·Don’t Buy the Lie – Myths of Privatisation - Vandana Shiva
·The Weight of Water – Water Aid
·Thirsting for Justice in Palestine – Oxfam UK
·Watering the Grassroots: Some Solutions – Dame Anita Roddick

“Water is more fundamental than any other substance on Earth: you can live three weeks without food, but without water you’ll be dead in three days. Water cannot simply be a commodity to be exchanged and bartered by a few corporations, owned and controlled by big business. It is a human need and a right.” Says Roddick

Troubled Water is packed with hard hitting images and this full colour book gives the reader a strong sense of the issues surrounding the global water crisis, but most importantly, tools to get involved in turning the tide. Instead of making the reader feel helpless and hopeless, this book leaves you armed with information and well-prepared to make change.

Troubled Water: Saints, Sinners, Truth & Lies About the Global Water Crisis is available from all good UK high-street and online bookstores and from now. Visit or for more information.

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