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Back to the Well
Back to the Well

Back to the Well

An important book and an important conversation about our most precious resource. Required reading on a global scale.

Shortlisted for the Donner Prize and the Evelyn Richardson Non-Fiction Award

"This book will ruffle some feathers as well as open some minds, but for anyone who cares about the earth's most precious resource, it is worth the read." — Publishers Weekly

Droughts. Floods. Contamination. Climate change. The perils to the global fresh-water supply have never been so clear or so numerous, as the crisis in Cape Town's water supply in early 2018 can attest. In dozens of countries, not just ordinary citizens but whole cities have cause to worry about their water, and who will ensure that it is available, affordable, and safe.

In this refreshing examination of the fate and future of water, now available for the first time in trade paperback edition, Marq de Villiers takes on some of the biggest questions of the water world. Who owns water? Is access to water a human right? Who is responsible for keeping water clean and ensuring that it gets to the people who need it most? Is privatization of ownership really so bad?

De Villiers's inspiring book offers a clear-eyed assessment of the politics of water and proposes innovative, real-life solutions. Writes Elizabeth May, “Back to the Well is a forceful prescription for a sustainable water future.”


Marq de Villiers is a celebrated author and journalist. He has written 15 books, including Water: The Fate of our Most Precious Resource, winner of the Governor General's Award for non-fiction and the Canadian Science Writers Award. In 2010, he was appointed to the Order of Canada. He lives in Eagle Head, Nova Scotia.

"This book will ruffle some feathers as well as open some minds, but for anyone who cares about the earth"s most precious resource, it is worth the read.' — Publishers Weekly

378 pages
Pub date: September 18, 2018