Unquenchable

Unquenchable

America's Water Crisis and What To Do About It

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Robert Jerome Glennon

432 pages | 6 x 9 | 9 photos, 13 illustrations

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.

"Author Robert Glennon connects the dots between our water woes and climate change, energy, growth, the environment, and agriculture. He makes a compelling case that we need to re-think how we use this prized resource and provides a number of thought-provoking solutions. Informative, insightful, and very interesting."

U.S. Senator Mark Udall, Colorado

"Robert Glennon makes immediate and specific the most urgent point of crisis threatening the health and welfare of the American environment. The wells of the American dream stand a good chance of running dry, and to read Glennon's necessary book is to know that without water there will be no wine, no roses, nothing over Dorothy's rainbow except a pillar of salt."

Lewis Lapham, editor, Lapham's Quarterly

"Robert Glennon is a leading-edge legal scholar and passionate water advocate whose thinking is central to an intense debate on the path forward to a water-secure world. I heartily recommend his provocative, information-packed, and highly readable new book Unquenchable."

Maude Barlow

"Unquenchable is a worthy successor to Cadillac Desert that ably demonstrates how our most valuable resource is being squandered, ignored, and flushed away. Although it reminds us that water is indeed finite, Unquenchable clearly shows us the solutions to the greatest threat of the 21st century are limited only by politics and greed."

Terry Tamminen, Cullman Senior Fellow, New America Foundation and former secretary, CA EPA

"Glennon brings home the global problem of availability of drinking water...interesting and timely...recommended."

CHOICE

"Glennon illustrates the depth and complexity of our country's water problems."

Audubon

"Top Ten Environmental Book of 2009"

Mother Nature Network

"If you use water, you need to read this book. It's akin to Cadillac Desert"

Water Wired

"Several books have been published recently addressing the global water crisis, but none has offered such in-depth analysis."

New York Review of Ideas

"Thought-provoking and insightful book that offers and informed and articulate review of the enormous water issues facing Arizona, and the United States as a whole. It should be on the bookshelves of attorneys, environmentalists, public policy managers, and others interested in natural resources."

Journal of Arizona History

"In Unquenchable, Glennon offers a parade of anecdotes to argue that we need urgent, fundamental changes in the way we use water in the United States."

BioScience
Introduction

 

PART I. The Crisis

Chapter 1. Atlanta?s Prayer for Water

Chapter 2. Wealth and the Culture of Water Consumption

Chapter 3. Our Thirst for Energy

Chapter 4. Fouling Our Own Nests

Chapter 5. The Crisis Masked

 

PART II. Real and Surreal Solutions

Chapter 6. Business as Usual

Chapter 7. Water Alchemists

Chapter 8. The Ancient Mariner?s Lament

Chapter 9. Shall We Drink Pee?

Chapter 10. Creative Conservation

Chapter 11. Water Harvesting

Chapter 12. Moore?s Law

 

PART III. A New Approach

Chapter 13. The Enigma of the Water Closet

Chapter 14. The Diamond-Water Paradox

Chapter 15. The Steel Deal

Chapter 16. Privatization of Water

Chapter 17. Take the Money and Run

Chapter 18. The Future of Farming

Chapter 19. Environmental Transfers

Chapter 20. The Buffalo?s Lament

Conclusion: A Blueprint for Reform

 

Epilogue: The Salton Sea

Acknowledgments

List of Figures

Sources

Index

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workkey: 
8015128
categories: 
reviewquotes: 

"Author Robert Glennon connects the dots between our water woes and climate change, energy, growth, the environment, and agriculture. He makes a compelling case that we need to re-think how we use this prized resource and provides a number of thought-provoking solutions. Informative, insightful, and very interesting."

U.S. Senator Mark Udall, Colorado

"Robert Glennon makes immediate and specific the most urgent point of crisis threatening the health and welfare of the American environment. The wells of the American dream stand a good chance of running dry, and to read Glennon's necessary book is to know that without water there will be no wine, no roses, nothing over Dorothy's rainbow except a pillar of salt."

Lewis Lapham, editor, Lapham's Quarterly

"Robert Glennon is a leading-edge legal scholar and passionate water advocate whose thinking is central to an intense debate on the path forward to a water-secure world. I heartily recommend his provocative, information-packed, and highly readable new book Unquenchable."

Maude Barlow

"Unquenchable is a worthy successor to Cadillac Desert that ably demonstrates how our most valuable resource is being squandered, ignored, and flushed away. Although it reminds us that water is indeed finite, Unquenchable clearly shows us the solutions to the greatest threat of the 21st century are limited only by politics and greed."

Terry Tamminen, Cullman Senior Fellow, New America Foundation and former secretary, CA EPA

"Glennon brings home the global problem of availability of drinking water...interesting and timely...recommended."

CHOICE

"Glennon illustrates the depth and complexity of our country's water problems."

Audubon

"Top Ten Environmental Book of 2009"

Mother Nature Network

"If you use water, you need to read this book. It's akin to Cadillac Desert"

Water Wired

"Several books have been published recently addressing the global water crisis, but none has offered such in-depth analysis."

New York Review of Ideas

"Thought-provoking and insightful book that offers and informed and articulate review of the enormous water issues facing Arizona, and the United States as a whole. It should be on the bookshelves of attorneys, environmentalists, public policy managers, and others interested in natural resources."

Journal of Arizona History

"In Unquenchable, Glennon offers a parade of anecdotes to argue that we need urgent, fundamental changes in the way we use water in the United States."

BioScience
printinfo: 
432 pages | 6 x 9 | 9 photos, 13 illustrations
imprintname: 
googlepreview: 
9781597266390
Subject: 
authorkeys: 
7502452
sort author: 
Glennon, Robert J
sort pub: 
Monday, April 19, 2010
sort title: 
Unquenchable