New book explores the human relationship with water

April 28, 2011 | EPA


Water is everywhere, but it’s too often taken for granted. Whether it’s used in the kitchen, the bathroom, or out in a field, water has and will always be essential to life. In his new book, The Big Thirst, author and investigative reporter Charles Fishman explores the human relationship with water.    The Big Thirst celebrates the history and great value of water. Fishman contrasts society’s fascination and curiosity of water with the widespread lack of appreciate and disrespect for the proper management and use of water.     Fishman’s book was recently profiled in a story by National Public Radio. During the interview, Fishman pointed out some of the lesser known usages of water in daily life.   "[We use] 10 gallons of water an hour every hour of every day just to power our computers and our refrigerators and our washing machines at home,” Fishman told NPR.    Fishman points out other sources of water waste, such as the fact that one out of every six gallons of water acquired, treated and pumped by water utilities in the U.S. leaks back into the ground before it can be consumed. Fishman argues that water utility technology must improve in order for this sort of waste to end.    Fishman examines parts of the world already gripping with water shortages and offers a view into the future of clean and reliable water.  Profiles include parts of India where people must line up daily for buckets of clean water, and Las Vegas – a city currently experiencing one of the biggest water shortages in America.   For more on the book, see the full feature from National Public Radio.  You can also listen to the full audio story, view highlights from the interview and read an excerpt from The Big Thirst.