City of Water

Groundwood. (ThinkCities). May 2021. 40p. Tr $19.95. ISBN 9781773061443.
Gr 4-7–City dwellers may take water for granted, but it’s a finite resource—and where does it come from? This welcome new title provides the answer for middle grade readers. After Curtis’s A Forest in the City, this is the second in a series addressing environmental concerns affecting cities, where many young readers live. The writer opens with the history of water systems and the sad, surprising lack of such systems even today in many parts of the world. She describes water sources (watersheds, aquifers, and bottled water), aqueducts, and reservoirs that transport water to the cities, and treatment systems including desalination (using the Canadian term). The book then moves on to storage and usage of treated water (including leaks), the problem of polluted public waters, and the ways water can vary in taste and even feel. At the other end of the system is wastewater collection and disposal, which includes what happens to storm waters and to the now-recycled waters that have passed through these extensive systems. The book concludes by suggesting ways readers can help preserve this precious resource. Spread by spread, this systematic explanation is enlivened by Dockrill’s brush-and-ink illustrations, which show a diversity of people. The back matter includes a glossary, selected sources, and acknowledgments. The endpapers illustrate the familiar water cycle.
VERDICT Cogently fills an information gap for school and public libraries.

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