The water coming out of your tap is four billion years old and might have been slurped by a Tyrannosaurus Rex. We will always have exactly as much water on Earth as we have ever had. Water cannot be destroyed, and it can always be made clean enough for drinking again. In fact, water can be made so clean that it actually becomes toxic. As Charles Fishman brings vibrantly to life in this delightful narrative excursion, water runs our world in a host of awe-inspiring ways, which is both the promise and the peril of our unexplored connections to it.
Taking listeners from the wet moons of Saturn to the water-obsessed hotels of Las Vegas, and from a rice farm in the Australian outback to a glimpse into giant vats of soup at Campbell's largest factory, he reveals that our relationship to water is conflicted and irrational, neglected and mismanaged. Whether we will face a water scarcity crisis has little to do with water and everything to do with how we think about water - how we use it, connect with it, and understand it.
Portraying and explaining both the dangers - in 2008, Atlanta came just 90 days from running completely out of drinking water - and the opportunities, such as advances in rainwater harvesting and businesses that are making huge breakthroughs in water productivity, The Big Thirst will forever change the way we think about water, our crucial relationship to it, and the creativity we can bring to ensuring we always have plenty of it.
©2011 Charles Fishman (P)2011 Tantor
"A timely warning about the dwindling global water supply." (Kirkus)
This book is one of the few that I feel I need to talk about and recommend to everybody I encounter. It offers valuable insights about the world's urgent water crises and people's relationship to water, beginning with broad overview of water's chemical properties and history and moving on to detailed descriptions of the wide variety of experience in places ranging from Las Vegas and Atlanta to India (several different cities) and Australia (several different locales).
The performance is intelligent and clear. I strongly recommend this book.
This is one of those non-fiction books that just blows you away. It was a little tough getting into it at first, but once it got into all the stuff about Las Vegas and golf courses, etc. I was hooked. Great narration. You will seriously never look at water the same after listening to this.
Long time Audible member (8 years, 500+ books). Avid flyfisherman, hunter, bicycler.
This is a great book. It does a great job of describing water issues in an interesting and entertaining way.
Jack of all trades, but expert at none. Newest and lates adventure is learning to fly and rebuilding my business.
I really enjoyed this book. I have already suggested many of my friends read it as well. If you are wondering when it will rain next, you may want to think about what we are doing with the water we have, than water we don't. This book helps to put into perspective our use of water. If you like random facts, you will love this book.
Truly fascinating and not too linear.
The story of the Australian city Toowoomba and how it is possible that even in the 21st century otherwise sane and well educated people can simply ignore science and logic.
Would not say extreme,however,I would rate it as the best book I have bought this year.This is the first time I have taken the time to review a book,which says allot as I average about 2 books per month on audible.
It was nice to get more than I expected from this book.
The Big Thirst is a well Written and interesting treatise on the world wide water situation. There are some minor flaws in the writing. The book could have been shorter. The author spends some time redundantly haranguing that Americans and developed nations waste a good deal of water and that we don't have coherent policies in place to deal with water shortages and droughts. Yes, I get it. That's why I purchased this audio-book. So there's little need to repetitively convince me. Otherwise and interesting book about an important issue, seldom discussed.
Professor, PhD, and very eclectic reader!
This book details many issues surrounded by water. Interesting and covers a variety of topics!
An excellent review of water utilization and of the problems that we all face as the need for water increases on the background of finite supply. Mr Fishman obviously knows the subject to great depth, but he's such a Green ideologue that he ignores inconvenient facts. For example, when detailing the efforts that IBM has made at its Vermont plant to use water more efficiently he lists the savings that their efforts have yielded - and they are substantial. He then quotes the IBM official in charge of the effort as saying; "We did 50 different things [to get these results]." Well. these 50 different things most have cost something, but Mr Fishman never mentions what this cost was. Thus, there's no way for the listener to know what IBM's net savings were or if there even was a net savings.
In his very good description of the bottled water craze that has seized the US he mentions how the market has worked to effect the unnecessary use of water but failed to work in the necessary sector of water use. Of course, most of our water is supplied by government or government regulated utilities where there is no opportunity for market forces to work. When he discusses GE's water programs his disdain is palpable even when he grants them success. He obviously is not a fan of capitalism.
Fishman discusses an issue of critical importance to the very survival of human life. After all, separating the sewerage from the drinking water has saved more lives then all the doctors who have ever lived or ever will live. He knows the subject and covers it in great detail. He writes very well. The narrator is very good and the listener will learn a lot about the subject. You just have to realize that Fishman is the victim of his own zeal and innate bias. If you put this into the equation you can get a lot from this book. He depiction of how recent is a reliable water supply to the developed world and how fragile its continuance is should serve as a valuable warning to our on-going complacence about the future of our water supply. Just ramp up your bias filter.
Good book, got me thinking about all of the current (and soon to come) issues with water supply. Ending is a disappointment. OK, we need to have a paradigm shift on the "costs" of water, need to charge for it such that it is not considered "free". Ya don't need to expound on that for an hour of book time especially when that point is made several times previously. I skipped the last hour, it got boring!
But overall highly recommended, the author makes some very good points and is well-written.
I will be visiting Las Vegas before it dries up.
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