This is a superb book and one that should be required reading for every human being. Instead of reading some of the drivel (classics) in high school, kids should read about the single most important element in life, water. There is something enigmatic about our attitude about water. Our attitude about water is something akin to the old song line, "you only really appreciate something when you lose it". This book is not a polemic or screaming about yet another crisis. Although water is becoming a crisis, his point is educational. He talks about every aspect of water. I especially like the parts in which he described the chemistry and physical uniqueness of water. One fact about water that absolutely blew me away: Every molecule of water that is on the Earth has been here since its formation. We neither add nor subtract water. It just gets moved around. We are so spoiled regarding water in the US especially in the part in which I live. He points out the confusion in our minds about water. The author compares our 24/7 water accessibility with the supply in India. In most Indian communities, even the wealthy ones, water is only available one or two hours a day. In some parts of India, an entire day is consumed (mainly by school aged girls) walking to a distant water supply and carrying it back on their heads. For us, water is virtually free and we waste it with impunity. People complain about a dollar a month increase in the cost of water supply while they remain silent about a 10% cable TV charge. Is it really necessary to flush our solid waste with purified, chemically treated potable water? Suffice it to say that after reading this book, my head was straightened out and I now turn off the water when brushing my teeth. The book is very well written and Charles Fishman does a great job, as always. This book gets my vote for Science book of the year.
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