Public Release: 

How water rules the world

World Scientific


IMAGE: 'Water Is... The Indispensability of Water in Society and Life' explores the ways-big and small-that water rules the world. It provides a holistic perspective on water, capturing the full breadth... view more 

Credit: World Scientific

Why should I care about water when I can get as much as I want from my kitchen sink? That question might sound very different if you lived in Flint, Michigan or in a region of the world experiencing severe drought.

Water is everything. Actually, water is shockingly bizarre in its properties and of unsurpassed importance throughout human history, yet so mundane as to often be invisible in our daily lives. Water shaped civilization. People are increasingly aware of the intimate role that water plays in our quality of life and our relationship with society and the environment. Water Is... The Indispensability of Water in Society and Life explores the ways-big and small-that water rules the world. It provides a holistic perspective on water, capturing the full breadth of the science, technology, policy, history, and future outlook for the most important substance on earth, written at a level accessible to non-experts in each of these areas.

In the book's foreword, New York Times bestselling author Seth Siegel (yes, a third Seth), distills what is so special about this volume. Siegel expresses a "wish that Water Is had been written when my interest in water began and morphed into infatuation and then into my life's work. I'd have saved so much time running around and would have compactly learned so much, so quickly--and with the right emphasis."

In Water Is..., the two Seths (Darling and Snyder) walk the reader through diverse perspectives on water. The journey begins with an exploration of the mysteries of water's properties on the molecular level, zooming out through its central role at biological and geological scales. Next, the Seths travel through the history of human civilization, highlighting the fundamental part water has played throughout, including the complexities of water policy, privatization, and pricing in today's world. Attention then turns to technology and innovation, emphasizing the daunting challenges dictated by increasing water stress and a changing climate as well as the enticing opportunities to achieve a secure global water future.

How do two scientists who work at an energy laboratory and live a stone's throw from one of the most water-secure places in the world develop a passion for water? We hope Water Is... tells that story.

This book retails for US$68 / £60 at major bookstores. To know more about the book visit


About The Authors

Seth B. Darling is a scientist, author, innovator, and science communicator. He is Director of the Institute for Molecular Engineering at Argonne National Laboratory and Fellow of the Institute for Molecular Engineering at the University of Chicago, USA. Dr Darling blends chemistry, physics, materials science and engineering, and nanoscience to create and study materials for energy and water. He has published over 100 scientific articles and a popular book on climate change, holds a number of patents, and appears frequently on television, radio, newspapers, and news media. His recent studies have focused on design of next-generation solar energy devices and advanced architectures for water purification and pollution remediation.

Seth W. Snyder is Director of Clean Energy and Transportation at Idaho National Laboratory and Adjunct Professor of Engineering at Northwestern University, USA. He published scientific articles in more than 40 journals spanning water, environment, chemistry, biochemistry, engineering, and even neuroscience. Prof Snyder has taught courses on energy and sustainability at Northwestern. His water research encompasses desalination, wastewater treatment, and water management. His research portfolio at Idaho now includes the future of mobility and the power grid. He has spoken and advised on the role of water and energy in society across four continents working at every level from middle school students to the Secretary of Energy at the White House.

About World Scientific Publishing Co.

World Scientific Publishing is a leading international independent publisher of books and journals for the scholarly, research and professional communities. World Scientific collaborates with prestigious organisations like the Nobel Foundation and US National Academies Press to bring high quality academic and professional content to researchers and academics worldwide. The company publishes about 600 books annually and 135 journals in various fields. To find out more about World Scientific, please visit

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