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Volume 29, Issue 4

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Tuesday, 07 May 2013 14:32

Protecting the Water Supply Requires a Multipronged Approach

Threats to water, a requirement for life, make for compelling story lines. The movie Batman Begins includes a poisoned water supply as a plot point, for example. But threats to the water supply aren’t just the stuff of modern fiction.

“The idea of poisoning drinking water goes back a long way,” said James Salzman, a professor of law and environmental policy at Duke University and author of Drinking Water: A History. The Roman emperor Nero is said to have poisoned his enemies’ wells in the first century. J. Edgar Hoover obsessed over threats to the water supply during World War II.