Deep in the Mojave Desert sits Las Vegas. In Sin City, a torrent of water flows freely in massive fountains, pirate lagoons, wave machines, and casinos. Meanwhile, across the country in places that are not particularly dry or hot, communities, farmers, and factories are struggling to find water, and even running out altogether.
America's self-inflicted water crisis is spreading, and more quickly than you might think. In a book that is both frightening and wickedly funny, acclaimed author Robert Glennon captures the tragedy, and irony, of water in America.
From the Vegas Strip to faux snow in Atlanta, from our supersized bathrooms to mega-farms, from billion-dollar water deals to big time politics and personalities, Unquenchable tells the shocking stories of extravagances and waste that are sucking the nation dry. Our water woes will only grow with new demands for this forgotten resource.
Take Washington's love affair with biofuels: it will turn to heartbreak once America realizes that thousands of gallons of water are required to produce one gallon of fuel. Glennon argues that we cannot engineer our way out of the problem with the usual fixes or the zany, but very real, schemes to tow icebergs from Alaska or divert the Mississippi River to Nevada.
America must make hard choices, and Glennon's answer is a provocative market-based system that values water as 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.