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.