WHAT WE’RE READING: THE BIG THIRST

Open “The Big Thirst”, by Charles Fishman, to any page, plop your finger down at any spot at random, and you’ll probably come across something about water you didn’t know or hadn’t thought about. It’s well-reported and well-told and we hope that ultimately it’s going to have an effect on how readers think about water.

The thesis is straight-forward. The golden era of water is over. Abundant, cheap, clean water no longer will be available, even in developed nations. Even though it is the most vital substance in our lives, water is also more amazing and mysterious than we can appreciate. The author does a brilliant job at showing how we’ve left behind the century-long era where water was thoughtlessly abundant and have entered a new age of high-stakes water.

As dramatic as the challenges presented by Charles Fishman may seem, the ultimate truth is that we have more than enough water. We just don’t think about it, or use it, wisely. However that is rapidly changing. With places like Atlanta, California and Las Vegas going through major water crises, companies are making breakthroughs in water productivity. Knowing what to do is not the problem, ultimately the hardest part is changing and implementing our new relationship with water.

Our favorite quote: “Many civilizations have been crippled or destroyed by an inability to understand water or manage it. We have a huge advantage over the generations of people who have come before us, because we can understand water and we can use it smartly.”