Water chemistry

Water chemistry
Patrick Brezonik and William Arnold
Oxford University Press
Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press 2011: 808pp: (HB)
Reviewed by Richard Allan

Brezonik and Arnold point out in their introductory chapter that water is the most common liquid on our planet. It is an enabler for life, economic growth and is embedded in our culture. Water covers around 70 per cent of the Earth's surface and it is estimated that there are around 14 billion cubic Km3 of water but only 1 per cent of this is available as freshwater.

Sustainable water management is an area of increasing importance as energy, food, industrial and population changes put existing resources under stress. Water chemistry provides a great introduction to the wide range of disciplines that contribute to this field and a good foundation that will help students and practitioners address some of the emerging water management issues.

Parts one and two set out the basic principles and theories of water chemistry. The authors take us through a well balanced learning curve and provide detail that will be useful to readers from different technical backgrounds who need a broad understanding of water chemistry.

The core of part three is a welcome addition to a text on water chemistry and focuses on inorganic chemical equilibria and kinetics. The reader is guided on a comprehensive journey through the complexity of inorganic reactions and the nature of kinetics that form the basis of many other aspects of chemistry.

Part four applies the developed theories to engineered and natural water systems. The inclusion of this section differentiates this book from other texts in water chemistry and delivers a more holistic introduction to the subject.

The authors have achieved their objective in delivering a broader approach to water chemistry which is suitable for use in both academia and industry.