The Ripple Effect: The Fate of Fresh Water in the Twenty-First Century

The Ripple Effect: The Fate of Fresh Water in the Twenty-First Century

Book rating: 05 Hardback

By (author) Alex Prud'Homme

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  • Publisher: Simon Spotlight Entertainment
  • Format: Hardback | 352 pages
  • Dimensions: 157mm x 231mm x 33mm | 816g
  • Publication date: 6 July 2011
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 1416535454
  • ISBN 13: 9781416535454
  • Edition statement: New.
  • Sales rank: 430,881

Product description

AS ALEX PRUD'HOMME and his great-aunt Julia Child were completing their collaboration on her memoir, "My Life in France," they began to talk about the French obsession with bottled water, which had finally spread to America. From this spark of interest, Prud'homme began what would become an ambitious quest to understand the evolving story of freshwater. What he found was shocking: as the climate warms and world population grows, demand for water has surged, but supplies of freshwater are static or dropping, and new threats to water quality appear every day. "The Ripple Effect "is Prud'homme's vivid and engaging inquiry into the fate of freshwater in the twenty-first century. The questions he sought to answer were urgent: Will there be enough water to satisfy demand? What are the threats to its quality? What is the state of our water infrastructure--both the pipes that bring us freshwater and the levees that keep it out? How secure is our water supply from natural disasters and terrorist attacks? Can we create new sources for our water supply through scientific innovation? Is water a right like air or a commodity like oil--and who should control the tap? Will the wars of the twenty-first century be fought over water? Like Daniel Yergin's classic "The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money & Power," Prud'homme's "The Ripple Effect "is a masterwork of investigation and dramatic narrative. With striking instincts for a revelatory story, Prud'homme introduces readers to an array of colorful, obsessive, brilliant--and sometimes shadowy--characters through whom these issues come alive. Prud'homme traversed the country, and he takes readers into the heart of the daily dramas that will determine the future of this essential resource--from the alleged murder of a water scientist in a New Jersey purification plant, to the epic confrontation between salmon fishermen and copper miners in Alaska, to the poisoning of Wisconsin wells, to the epidemic of intersex fish in the Chesapeake Bay, to the wars over fracking for natural gas. Michael Pollan has changed the way we think about the food we eat; Alex Prud'homme will change the way we think about the water we drink. Informative and provocative, "The Ripple Effect "is a major achievement.

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Customer reviews

By Jan Wijninckx 18 Jan 2013 5

What a great read. This is a very good investigative journalistic piece, covering: water quality, drought, flood and conflict.

At first it gets very depressing as you read on 200 years of quality issues in the making and continuing via you and me through spillages, flushing medicines through the toilet etc. It gets worse as you read the shenanigans of politicians, big moneyed man, and the backlog of maintenance. But then it perks up and you can read that there is lots of opportunity, cooperation, and how to get out of the mess. A very good read - a must read for any politician, civil engineer, or private person (to know how you are going to be shafted if you don't partake in what's brewing).

Here are some things I took from it: Seen the 007 movie re a private company getting underground water in South-America? It's happened for real in the USA (a dude sitting on $14 Trillion rights - yes 12 zeros). Wonder why cancers are on the rise(?) - see what's in your water. Storm Evans in NY(?) - forewarned in 2009 ("when not if"). 1kg of beef, 363 gallons of water! Take one litre of water out of the tap means you're actually tapping hundreds of litres, since the tap requires electricity which in itself uses lots of water (cooling, drilling, processing coal etc). Hurricane Katrina / New Orleans(?) - happened 40 years prior and is a repeat, and was foreworn in Time mag. When you read how politically stalled the USA is the mind just boggles. Repairing waterworks, quality, levies etc - think 300 Billion or more. The next generation won't be looking for work.

Review quote

"Both drought and flood are on the rise, and Alex Prud'homme, in this fine new account, helps you understand why. We've taken the planet's hydrology for granted for the 10,000 years of human civilization; that's a luxury we can no longer afford." --Bill McKibben, author of "The End of Nature" and "Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet"""