Just Water

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A timely and eye-opening analysis of the realities of fresh water at the intersection of hydrology, ecology, ethics, theology, and Catholic social thought.

Do we truly understand the significance of fresh water in an era of economic globalization?  Did you know it takes 2,000 gallons of water to "grow" a single pound of beef? That your morning cup of coffee "costs" 35.5 gallons of water from tree to cup? Aimed at the educated non-specialist as well as scholars, Just Water explores important practical aspects of the global fresh water crisis while also providing ethical analysis and principled recommendations about fresh water use and scarcity in the twenty-first century. 

Ultimately, Just Water invites us to expand global discourse about the value of fresh water for human life and community--a substance that serves as a baseline for human existence--as well as offering tools for understanding and appreciating contemporary ethical problems posed by looming fresh water scarcity.

"With Just Water Christiana Peppard has managed to cover a huge amount of material in an extraordinarily thoughtful and nuanced way.  The book is a gift to the water community."--Aaron T. Wolf, Ph.D., Director, Program in Transboundary Water Conflict Management and Transformation; Professor of Geography, Oregon State University

Christiana Z. Peppard is Assistant Professor of Theology, Science, and Ethics at Fordham University in New York.  Her expertise and publications focus on the interface of epistemology, historiography, naturalism, feminist theory, theology, and ethics.  She received the 2013 Catherine Mowry LaCugna Award from the Catholic Theological Society of America. She is co-editor (with Andrea Vicini, S.J.) of Just Sustainability: Technology, Ecology, and Resource Extraction.

Book Details

Just Water
Theology, Ethics, and the Global Water Crisis
Ecology and Justice Series
Christiana Z. Peppard
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Just Water Table of Contents 235 Kb
"If we are to make changes to preserve a sustainable level of fresh water for future generations, the most significant changes will have to take place in agriculture, with additional attention to the ways water is distributed (as a right or as a commodity), the ways water is put to industrial use, and the ways climate change affects cycles of drought and flood. What will be needed, Peppard argues, is for scholars, economists, lawyers, and policy makers to work together to create regulations and accountability. Peppard has shown herself in this book to be an important voice in that conversation."
A thought-provoking text that explains complex issues in a compelling manner.... The book is appropriate for undergraduate or graduate-level courses, especially in environmental ethics or eco-theology, or for church study groups that want to explore sustainability and water usage.
Peppard successfully highlights the importance of ethical interdisciplinary engagement in the global water crisis. The book is an exceptional invitation for further cooperation for all who desire to work toward universal access to clean water. Peppard effectively presents well-documented research accessible to those entering the conversation for the first time, while also exposing challenges for experts at the forefront of ethics, theology, and water politics.
Part primer on the complexities of ensuring access to fresh water, part expose on how "clean water flows towards power," this book is an ethical and theological call for contextualized water justice for the poor and vulnerable.... Peppard makes the case that everyone -- individuals, governments, and corporations -- is responsible for discerning what is required and doing it.
I cannot recommend this book highly enough to instructors -— especially of Christian ethics -- on the undergraduate level and to facilitators of parish reading groups.
It is refreshing to read an important subject like fresh water being addressed in a theological manner that is also contextual. [Just Water] is informative and succinctly and well written.
...is fully accessible for the non-specialist general reader and therefore a very highly recommended addition to community as well as academic library Environmental Studies reference collections.
" . . . generously connects faith with reason, human consumption with theology and ethics, and private and public sector choices with the common good."
. . . the business of water has become a justice issue for those who cannot afford to satiate the whetted appetites business people have for profit. . . Treated as an overlooked subject for Christian ethics and social justice, water, Peppard notes, is really a right to life issue, because 'fresh water is interwoven with the most pressing realities that populations and regions will face in the twenty-first century, from agriculture to climate change to political stability and more.'
"An important book . . . The author's wide-ranging grasp of economic theory and real world experience makes this a very compelling text."
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