Sobering and alarming are two of the words that came to mind as I kept reading “Unquenchable: America’s Water Crisis and What To Do About It” (Island Press, 2009).

While I don’t know what all has happened in the world of water in the intervening 11 years, I do know it is still a crisis. While the book is about what is going on in the United States, this is a global issue. Water is a limited resource that so many people take for granted.

Author Robert Glennon delves into nearly every facet of water, not just the obvious farming and municipal water uses. Still, he says, “Our existing water law tolerates both wasteful irrigation and mind-numbing sprawl.”

Almost every region of the country is part of the book, exposing just how widespread the concerns are.

Glennon doesn’t hold back when writing about the link between water and energy, how ethanol is a boondoggle, and that wastewater management needs to be overhauled. He talks about how much water is needed for technology. All of the facts and figures are mind-numbing.

This isn’t a quick read. There is so much information in here. That, though, is what makes it a must-read. This is important stuff. The details in the book are things we all need to know and need to be thinking about. It’s time to rethink our relationship water; reading this book is a good first-step to doing so.

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