University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota

#TBT: “This Day in Water History” Site

September 22, 2016Patrick NunnallyThrowback ThursdayComments Off on #TBT: “This Day in Water History” Site

I guess some folks feel like every day should be “Throwback ____.”  Michael J. McGuire maintains “This Day in Water History” as a complement to his blog safedrinkingwaterdotcom.  While the latter is full of good information on the important subject of drinking water safety, the “This Day” blog has lots of great stuff both whimsical and of continued policy importance and perspective.

For example, September 22, 1990 was the day a broken water main in New Jersey left some 300,000 people without water for more than three hours.  An isolated story, perhaps, but given that the broken main was nearly 100 years old, and that many municipal water systems have infrastructure of similar vintage, it is likely that the story will be repeated elsewhere.

A quick glance through the archives of “TDIWH” as it is sometimes tagged, shows the surprising range of subjects that water history touches.  There’s material here from across the world, and from nearly any historical era.  Urban history, policy history, environmental history and public health all play recurring roles in the ongoing stories of how people have engineered water to serve their needs.  The subjects are drinking water and wastewater, so someone will have to start another blog to address subjects such as wild rivers, or the oceans, or recreational use of surface waters.

Related Posts

Comments are closed.

Contact Us!
Send us a note at to make suggestions for other places we should look, media to track, and stories to tell!
River Life in Video
Come Along for a Water Walk with Kare11 and River Life, and see Gifts at Work: The Mississippi River by the University of Minnesota Foundation
Open Rivers: Rethinking the Mississippi
A joint project of River Life, the Institute for Advanced Study, and the University of Minnesota Libraries, Open Rivers is an interdisciplinary online journal that recognizes the Mississippi River as a space for timely and critical conversations about people, community, water, and place.