Drought, Dirt Water, and Disease, 1870-1914
Prof. Keir Waddington
18th October 2017
After 1870, Wales suffered from a series of major droughts, which reached their peak in the 'Long Drought' (1890-1909). Despite being imagined as a wet part of the world, rural Wales was harder hit than urban areas as many communities did not have access to reliable water supplies. As doctors and newspapers talked about water famines, alarm focused on questions of purity and disease as drought was presented as a serious health risk. In addressing how droughts as physical and social phenomena, the paper explores how they generated considerable alarm about infectious disease and what this reveals about sanitary science in the rural environment.
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