Reviews and Praise


"Sedlak... has contributed a gem to the growing shelf of books on the emerging crisis surrounding water... An erudite romp through two millennia of water and sanitation practice and technology. "    —Nature (full review)   

"A lucid primer on water technology... A solid popular examination of our most vital resource."

—Kirkus Reviews (full review)

"With the turn of a tap, clean water flows out. . . . It all seems so simple and obvious. And yet, as UC Berkeley Professor David Sedlak explains in his fact-packed new book, Water 4.0, such conveniences are really a marvel of engineering, built on centuries of trial and (often) error. More improvements are urgently needed as new challenges like climate change loom. So Sedlak’s effort to engage the public on this oft-neglected subject is welcome.”

—Kate Galbraith, The San Francisco Chronicle (full review)

"In this engaging and informative book, UC Berkeley engineering professor David Sedlak offers a wide-ranging survey of water systems.—Georgia Rowe, The San Jose Mercury News (full review)

"The book is filled with intriguing historical detail (about Lawrence, Massachusetts, and Rome, and the Santa Ana River); it is a saga of the water challenges and solutions that make today’s cities possible. There is chemistry in Sedlak’s story, and urban design — and lots and lots of pipes."

 —Jeffery Atik, Los Angeles Review of Books (full review)

"Ever wondered what reactivated sludge is? Or what links your local water treatment plant with chemical warfare in the trenches of the Somme? Or why the water closet put paid to sewage farms, or the rivers of Chicago run backwards? If so, David Sedlak's Water 4.0 is your kind of book."

—Fred Pearce, New Scientist (full review)

“If you’ve ever wondered where your tap water comes from—and what’s still in it when you drink—Sedlak’s deeply-informed historical narrative provides the answers. Water 4.0 offers the clearest vision yet of how we’ll get our water in the future.”—Steven Solomon, author of Water: The Epic Struggle for Wealth, Power, & Civilization

"David Sedlak offers a clear window into the past and a positive vision of the future for one of our most precious resources: drinking water.  Using tools of history, engineering, and story telling, he gives us hope that society will continue to find new and innovative ways of providing this precious resource for all."—Peter Gleick, editor of The World's Water series

Water 4.0