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Handbook of Water Use and Conservation
Amy Vickers
Amherst, MA: WaterPlow Press, 2001
464 pp., $99.95, hardcover
ISBN: 1-931579-07-5

If not the best book on the subject, the Handbook of Water Use and Conservation comes close. This is a more than just a great reference on the subject of water conservation for anyone from a residential water user on a public/private water supply system, an activist, to engineers concerned with developing, implementing and/or costing a specific water conservation measure or even a conservation program. It's not only very thorough on the subject of public/private domestic/residential water supply conservation and system efficiency. It also examines the issues, describes and quantifies water conservation possibilities in landscaping, ICI (industrial, commercial and institutional), and agricultural (irrigation) applications as well. There is also a great deal of information on developing small and large water conservation programs, public education, and how to find more written material and contact individuals and companies in the water conservation business including private sector providers of water efficient equipment, consultants, and private, public, and government organizations involved water conservation promotion and education. This book's information is applicable to water use and practices around the world.

Each chapter of this book is quite exhaustive on the subject it covers including a level of up-to-date specifics truly found in only the best engineering and technical references. Each chapter also includes several real world examples that exemplify its recommendations and findings as well as exhaustive references that if followed will allow the reader to delve deeper and further on specific subjects. Each chapter is also remarkably well written and laid out starting with global issues and then moving through segment topics and examples to detailed information on the smallest specific equipment and practice. It covers capital equipment, operations and maintenance, and cost information.

The author's experience in all types and at all levels of water conservation is presented. The fact that the early results of water conservation programs are the largest in terms of overall use percent reductions are well stated and quantified as well as the diminishing but none the less valuable and significant benefits that can occur as programs become more aggressive. The book rightly points out that conserved water is the first and in many cases the least expensive source of additional water that is available to any user or class of users looking to obtain and/or locate additional supplies.

I have had this book for less than a year and it is full of my notes, place markers, and page folds. While I possess over 200 professional reference books, I have carried this one overseas already, and truly count it to be one of my most valuable and frequently used hard copy references. One can locate dozens of glowing references from water professionals in every field of practice for this compendium on the internet using a search engine and on the WaterPlow Press web page along with a description of each chapter. Its release coinciding with drought conditions experienced all over the USA has been timely. If you deal with water professionally, work with local or state level conservation group or if you are simply educating yourself on the subject, this would be an invaluable addition to your personal or corporate library.

— Mike McGovern, P.E.


Mike is a licensed engineer working at Bohannan Huston, Inc., in Albuquerque, New Mexico, with 28 years of experience in the United States, Somalia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Georgia, Egypt, Armenia, and Azerbaijan. He has studied, developed, designed, and managed the construction and operations of private, industrial, and public water and wastewater treatment and conveyance infrastructure in small and large communities, and managed refugee camp/program water supply and sanitation programs. Mike also has designed and managed over 250 small irrigation system rehabilitation projects, and assisted in the planning and construction of large irrigation systems that total over 20,000 acres. He has most recently managed the rehabilitation of seven river gaging stations, built two automated meteorological stations in the South Caucasus, trained in-country staff on their operation and maintenance, and served as an expert on three of New Mexico's regional water plans for irrigation and public water supply conservation and efficiency issues. Mike has worked for private consulting firms, regional utility authorities, the United Nations, USAID, and NGOs. He has consulted on WHO, FAO, UNEP, UNDP, WB, and USAID water projects and programs.


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Table of Contents

"When uranium mining and processing became big business during the Cold War, the federal government subsidized the industry. Most of the United States' uranium came out of Navajo ground. The Navajo people had a nominal say in the process at the time, but have endured all of the consequences since then. The land was torn open for our nuclear arsenal and the Navajo people are still dying from the cancers and illnesses that it caused.

I do not want a fourth generation of my people to suffer from the physical, psychological and cultural devastation caused by predatory energy practices. The lack of tribal consent contained in the Indian Energy title means that the federal government could override the Navajo law that prohibits uranium-mining activities on our land."
–Joe Shirley, Jr. President, Navajo Nation
"Senate Energy Bill Exploits Indian Resources"
Albuquerque Journal, July 18, 2003



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