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Water has been a relatively neglected area of historical investigation. This study examines the changing way in which water has been used in England and Wales since the industrial revolution, through the Victorian period and up to the 1990s.
The author stresses the environmental and political issues as well as the social: the development of water supply and sewage treatment industries, questions of river conservation, environmental protection and misuse, the impact of evolving patterns of water consumption in the home and in the economy, struggles among interest groups to gain priveleged access to water, and interrelationships between the water sectors, lobbies and the state.