The Future of Water

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A friend to a lot of people in the water industry, Steve Maxwell, recently sent out an email that resonated with me - perhaps because I read the prologue he attached (and that is linked below) a while back and had the same thoughts that Steve describes in his email. With his permission, his email is re-printed (and the prologue to his book is linked) below:

Dear Colleague:

The drought situation in California continues to worsen, causing increasing future water concerns for agriculture, industry and the general population.  But despite the hardships being faced by California, perhaps a serious drought is good for the country, just as $4 gas prices were once good for the country - at least it makes us sit up and take notice of the impending water crisis, and what may eventually occur in many other parts of the world.   In that light, and for your interest, I have attached here the prologue to my 2011 book The Future of Water.  In this fictionalized account of California 100 years from now, I describe a transformed water world which we may face sometime in the longer-term future.  Yes, some of this account may seem a bit dystopian or exaggerated given our perspective today.  On the other hand, some of these extreme circumstances are already starting to be anticipated by the current situation in California.  Does this scenario sound a little crazy or scary?  Scary—certainly. Crazy—maybe not…?

The rest of this book addresses many of the future issues, challenges and opportunities which may characterize the water marketplace and the availability of water resources in the future.  I suggest that the availability and the price of water will increasingly determine economic, political, and social trends in the future. Unlike other commodities, water is infinitely renewable, but its supply is essentially fixed, and we have no substitutes whatsoever for the critical role that water plays in our lives. And no matter how many people end up living on this small planet, we are always going to have the same amount of water.

Please feel free to give me a call at the number below if you would be interested in discussing some of these issues further, and please forward this note along to anyone else who is (or should be!) interested in future water resource issues.  The Future of Water is available from the American Water Works Association or on Amazon and other internet booksellers.

Thanks, and regards,


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  1. Pingback: The Future of Water | Lewis Roca Rothgerber Blogs

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