Urban Water Conservation



According to its abstract, this book attempts ‘an assessment of various water conservation measures aimed at reducing residential water usage.’ Its intent is to develop a research program whose ‘ultimate goal is to engender a conservation ethic among water users and managers and develop a predictable array of conservation methodologies. …’ Professor Flack indeed has presented an excellent assessment of conservation methodologies, but I believe that the proposed research program is too limited.

Following a brief introductory chapter, chapter II presents an extensive review of the water conservation literature published in the 1970's and earlier. It and chapter III, which describes Flack's systematic comparison of the technical, economic, and political aspects of each conservation methodology, are the heart of the book. Chapter IV is a brief discussion and analysis of conservation programs (with examples) that a water utility might adopt. Chapter V is essentially a pilot study of methods of assessing political and social feasibility. Finally, a set of recommendations is presented in chapter VI. All in all, this book is a nice blend of literature review and original research that deals with an important issue.