Deep in the Mojave Desert sits Las Vegas. The desert is a dry, torrid place that can quickly kill a person without water, but 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 coming.
In a book that is both frightening and wickedly funny, acclaimed author and expert Robert Glennon has captured 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: America?s Water Crisis and What To Do About It reveals the heady extravagances and everyday waste that are sucking the nation dry. Our water woes will get worse before they get better because we are slow to change our ways, and because water is the overlooked resource. It s happening again: Washington's love affair with biofuels will turn to heartbreak once America realizes that thousands of gallons of water are required to produce one gallon of fuel. Glennon tells how a celebrated, new ethanol plant in Minnesota, The Land of 10,000 Lakes, is already sucking local wells dry. 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. Island Press is proud to take part in bringing Robert Glennon's thought-provoking expose on our water crisis to light. Unquenchable will illustrate the urgency of this problem and the need for action on multiple fronts to solve it. Robert Glennon is the Morris K. Udall Professor of Law and Public policy in the Rogers College of Law at the University of Arizona. He is the author of many articles and books, including the acclaimed Water Follies: Groundwater Pumping and The Fate of America s Fresh Waters.