Unquenchable: America's Water Crisis and What To Do About It

Front Cover
Island Press, Apr 19, 2010 - Science - 432 pages
0 Reviews
In the middle of the Mojave Desert, Las Vegas casinos use billions of gallons of water for fountains, pirate lagoons, wave machines, and indoor canals. Meanwhile, the town of Orme, Tennessee, must truck in water from Alabama because it has literally run out.

Robert Glennon captures the irony—and tragedy—of America’s water crisis in a book that is both frightening and wickedly comical. From manufactured snow for tourists in Atlanta to trillions of gallons of water flushed down the toilet each year, Unquenchable reveals the heady extravagances and everyday inefficiencies that are sucking the nation dry.

The looming catastrophe remains hidden as government diverts supplies from one area to another to keep water flowing from the tap. But sooner rather than later, the shell game has to end. And when it does, shortages will threaten not only the environment, but every aspect of American life: we face shuttered power plants and jobless workers, decimated fi sheries and contaminated drinking water.

We can’t engineer our way out of the problem, either with traditional fixes or zany schemes to tow icebergs from Alaska. In fact, new demands for water, particularly the enormous supply needed for ethanol and energy production, will only worsen the crisis. America must make hard choices—and Glennon’s answers are fittingly provocative. He proposes market-based solutions that value water as both a commodity and a fundamental human right.

One truth runs throughout Unquenchable: only when we recognize water’s worth will we begin to conserve it.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

Introduction
1
The Crisis
21
Atlantas Prayer for Water
23
Wealth and the Culture of Water Consumption
37
Our Thirst for Energy
51
Fouling Our Own Nests
65
The Crisis Masked
77
Real and Surreal Solutions
103
The Enigma of the Water Closet
205
The DiamondWater Paradox
221
The Steel Deal
231
Privatization of Water
243
Take the Money and Run
253
The Future of Farming
273
Environmental Transfers
285
The Buffalos Lament
301

Business as Usual
105
Water Alchemists
135
The Ancient Mariners Lament
147
Shall We Drink Pee?
161
Creative Conservation
171
Water Harvesting
183
Moores Law
195
A New Approach
203
A Blueprint for Reform
315
The Salton Sea
327
Acknowledgments
335
List of Figures
339
Sources
341
Index
401
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2010)

Robert Glennon is the Morris K. Udall Professor of Law and Public Policy in the Rogers College of Law at the University of Arizona. He is the author of many articles and books, including the acclaimed Water Follies: Groundwater Pumping and the Fate of America’s Fresh Waters.

Bibliographic information