In Chapter 1, I provide a brief yet focused history of the political economy of water. I begin by evaluating how water has been a site of contestation from the days of the Roman Empire, through the Middle Ages, into the colonial period, and, finally, in the present. Through this historical overview, I begin to unpack the intricate differences in societies that have led to the current era of water privatization and water charities. Particularly, I focus on the Industrial Revolution of the mid-19th century in Western Europe and the United States until today. This period has led most directly to the free-market ideologies today that undergird all discussions of water and the impending water crisis. In order to appropriately address water and water charities in the context of the current political and economic climate, I theorize the political economy of water. Specifically, I outline how water has been monetized and commoditized utilizing the work of Giroux.