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The Future of Water

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ISBN-13: 978-1583218099
ISBN-10: 1583218092
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Editorial Reviews

Review

The Future of Water is sobering and exhilarating at the same time. It's sobering as Maxwell and Yates detail just how water touches so many
aspects of modern life, and how dire the situation might be if nothing changes. However, this book is also exhilarating in the fast-paced way it examines
the future of water from our own kitchen sinks to massive dams in China. The Future of Water provides a great look at the critical challenges
and opportunities that face us all over the next century. --Bill Owens, Governor of Colorado 1999 2006

About the Author

Steve Maxwell, the editor of the Water Market Review, has more than 30 years of experience in the environmental and
resource management fields. Since 1992, he has provided consulting and advisory services through his company
TechKNOWLEDGEY Strategic Group (TSG). He is a contributing editor to Journal AWWA, the Environmental Business Journal, American Water Intelligence, Water Underground
Infrastructure Management, and the Environmental Lab Report, as well as the author of The Business of Water
(AWWA, 2008, 978-1-58321-556-2). He holds advanced degrees in Public Policy and in Geology from Harvard
University, and is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Earlham College. Mr. Maxwell is also an avid cyclist, and recently became one of the few Americans to complete the legendary
climb of Mont Ventoux, in southern France, from all three directions in one day. He lives in Boulder, Colorado.

Scott Yates is a freelance writer based in Denver, Colorado. He has a B.A. degree in journalism from New York University, and has spent the past 11 years working as a reporter, writer, and editor for print and online publications, winning regional and national awards.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: American Water Works Assn (April 20, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1583218092
  • ISBN-13: 978-1583218099
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.1 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,277,587 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By David Zetland on July 25, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This book by Steve Maxwell (with Scott Yates*) offers a chatty overview of present and future water issues.

The title refers to the book's theme: predicting the trends that will dominate future water management.

I had a little trouble with the implementation of this theme. Charles Fishman discusses the future [my review] by describing existing water problems and implying that these problems may occur elsewhere. Maxwell & Yates (M&Y) describe problems, developments and trends (many more of them) but make a more explicit claim that what happens in one place is likely to happen in others. Sometimes this claim works; sometimes it seems misplaced.

M&Y put more emphasis on technological solutions than the impacts of policies on incentives and water scarcity. They often say that we need to change our attitude towards water but most of these admonitions are based on "should do" rhetoric instead of examining why people act as they do.

The book of 11 chapters begins with a prologue set in a future dystopia in which a post-abundance Los Angeles couple recycles their urine for household use, pays $7 per gallon for water, etc. This setting provides a fun reference point for the conversation ahead, but M&Y lay it on a bit thick. They try to ignore desalination (which produces water for about four cents per gallon) by erecting assumed barriers to its use.

In the first chapter, they bracket this reference point by going back to 1910 to set the scene. They then lay out four themes in the book:

Water will be treated as an input to production, like energy.
Water usage will be better monitored.
Different "types"of water (drinking water, wastewater) will be managed as "one water."
Water prices will rise.
Read more ›
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By D. Wayne Dworsky on October 22, 2013
Format: Paperback
Although lots of authors have examined the condition of Earth's resources, he Future of Water is one of the more immediate concerns. While a number of agencies in the Southwest, especially in California, have reported dwindling water resources, no one has stepped forward to address future needs. By the time the Colorado River reaches the Rio Grand, hardly anything is left. The dwindling water supply is due to tremendous development in recent years. The author takes an in-depth look at how this situation has come about and considers its remedies.

The book features a significant effort that ushers in a new era, one that aims to make the world a better place by better understanding nature's goals. The author examines the nature of the water business and develops a picture of what's to come. Although that picture seems bleak, the author paves the way to overcome the danger of water shortages.

A fantastic summer reading experience that will not only enrich and enlighten the casual reader, but won't disappoint those with stronger scientific interests.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
While Mr. Yates gives us good exposure to the problems with supplying water, he falls into the same trap as Robert Malthus, the population bomb and energy crisis people did. He looks at the supply and demand and assumes the curves stay linear over time. But they don't. These prophets of doom and gloom have been continually wrong because they underestimate the incentive to develop new technology when faced with the incentive to do so.

Already a combination of conservation and filter technology is changing the game he describes in The Future of Water. In ten years, we will wonder what he was talking about.
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By JuBen on October 10, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This informative and enlightening outlook creates a wider perspective for those who indulge in this book. Water, a resource like no other, has been overused and abused in multiple fashions by man. The author makes us look forward as well as reviewing our current situation so that we can contemplate better and more equitable alternatives.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An incredibly important and relevant book about waterissues, shortages and possible solutions that need to be initiated for all of us to have the clean water we need. I learned something on almost every page of this very well written book and am recommending it to all who care about water and want water to be in our future amply.
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