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Almost a thousand years before the industrial revolution touched off processes that are now threatening the climate of our earth, Venice began developing policies and institutions for surviving as an independent city-state in the midst of its lagoon. Venice and the Water surveys those policies and institutions for managing natural resources, a scientific approach that kept private interests secondary to those of the commonwealth. In tracing Venice's past greatness and present crisis, Bevilacqua recommends her past economic and political choices as a model for our world today. The value of this book is that it explains the exceptional complexity of the problem that is Venice. The analysis clearly sets forth the priorities for the task of rescue. --Massimo Cacciari, Mayor of Venice.