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Running Out of Water: The Looming Crisis and…

Running Out of Water: The Looming Crisis and Solutions to Conserve Our…

by Peter Rogers, Susan Leal

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162863,963 (2.5)3
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    The Price of Thirst: Global Water Inequality and the Coming Chaos by Karen Piper (2wonderY)
    2wonderY: Offers a more exhaustive but enlightening discussion of the privatization of water.

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Rogers and Leal address a critical issue, and do present a few excellent municipal solutions. But I think the authors were trying to be non-judgmental, and sadly fail to explore the political issues of for-profit water systems and water rights. They do skim these issues, but the avoidance of value judgments is clear for where they stop the discussion.

I saw three gaping holes in the presentation.
1. The chapter on agricultural water use focuses on increasingly high tech solutions to continue growing corn and soybean monocultures in parts of the country that are plainly not suited for them. There was not even a whisper of the possibility of switching to more adaptive crops and soil management practices that would allow sustainable agriculture.

2. The chapter on the bottled water industry wants to condemn the practice, but waffles heavily, even quoting Nestlé's chairman admiringly for his perception on the value of water.

3. The task of cleaning water for consumption is the whole thrust of the book. But industrial contaminants are hardly mentioned. There is lots of material on sewage reclamation and San Francisco's restaurant grease to biodiesel program, but the plastics, wood and oil industries, to mention just a few major polluters, are not addressed at all.

Oh, and alternatives to flush toilets should have been a topic as well.

There is a meaningful discussion on the economic value of water. ( )
  2wonderY | Dec 7, 2016 |
Some interesting facts and stories about how communities can deal with water shortages. Not hysterical but not too inspiring either. ( )
  joeydag | Jul 23, 2015 |
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Peter Rogersprimary authorall editionscalculated
Leal, Susanmain authorall editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0230615643, Hardcover)

Water is the world’s life source and essential to all living creatures.  Although we live on the blue planet, only 3 percent of all our water is drinkable. Yet we’ve grown accustomed to using it with abandon – individuals consume about 80 to 100 gallons per day adding up to the equivalent of an Olympic sized swimming pool every year. By this decade’s end, when the world population is predicted to reach 8 billion, we will face severe shortages.

In this ground breaking and forward-looking book, Harvard professor Peter Rogers and former general manager of the San Francisco Utilities Commission, Susan Leal give us a sobering perspective on the water crisis—why it’s happening, where it’s likely to strike, and what puts the worst strain on our supply. They explain how water’s unique status as a renewable but finite resource misleads us into thinking we can always produce more of it. They introduce exciting new technologies that can help revolutionize our consumption of water and explain how different areas of the world have taken the helm in alleviating the burden of water shortages.

Rogers and Leal show how it takes individuals at all levels to make this happen, from grassroots organizations who monitor their community’s water sources, to local officials who plan years in advance how they will appropriate water, to the national government who can invest in infrastructure for water conservation today.  Informed and inspiring, Running out of Water is a clarion call for action and an innovative look at how we as a nation and individuals can confront the crisis.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:21 -0400)

"While many believe that water is a renewable resource that will never go away, the truth is that the availability of this essential element is declining. Global warming creates moonscapes where there were once snow-packed mountains. Population growth has pushed demand, straining our current supply--almost ensuring that water will become as coveted as oil in the twenty-first century. As the water supply declines, there are critical questions to answer: Can we learn to conserve? Can we find ways to renew this resource? Do we have the political will to act wisely before it is too late? Peter Rogers and Susan Leal are experts with decades of experience dealing with the conservation and protection of water. Through the use of case studies, or "success stories," Rogers and Leal explain in accessible terms the scientific, economic, and political aspects of the issue. They offer a comprehensive look at the crisis--from the West Coast, where mighty rivers are being diverted for California's agriculture--to the Gulf Coast of Florida, where snowbird retreats are straining natural resources--to traditionally thirsty parts of the world, like southern India, where water is available but infrastructure to deliver it is limited or nonexistent. Focusing on solutions, Running Out of Water lays out the political leadership, policy action and technology tools required to sustain our water supplies"--Provided by publisher.… (more)

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