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Tapped Out: The Coming World Crisis in Water and What We Can Do About It Paperback – December 18, 2001

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Simon, a former Democratic senator from Illinois, delivers a call-to-arms to citizens and political leaders to act to save the world's water supply. "Within a few years," he writes, "a water crisis of catastrophic proportions will explode on us." Simon, who was a newspaperman before he was a politician, is a clear and forceful writer who makes use of compelling statistics to outline the looming crisis: 9500 children die every day due to thirst or polluted water and a projected three billion people will be living in regions afflicted by severe water shortages in just 25 years. Among the most immediate problems Simon covers are vanishing groundwater reserves in California, polluted drinking water in India and the potential for geopolitical violence in the arid Middle East. Simon urges governments to step up their support for desalination, conservation and pollution control. He also calls for policy changes such as charging consumers for the actual cost of conveying their water. Although suffering from a drought of firsthand vignettes and individual case studies, Simon's book is well reasoned and well researched and deserves serious attention?not least because he offers the bracing example of a former public servant still committed to the intelligent and informed discussion of a pressing issue. First serial to Parade.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Paul Simon is a former member of the United States Senate, and now director of the Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. In 1988 he unsuccessfully sought the Democratic nomination for President.

This is his seventeenth book --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Welcome Rain Publishers (December 18, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1566492211
  • ISBN-13: 978-1566492218
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #370,577 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Gregory McMahan VINE VOICE on November 27, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Wnen it comes to water and environmental issues, the United States looks much more like a third world banana republic than a first-world, top-of-the-heap military and economic superpower. Years ago, former US senator Paul Simon alerted our government to a problem that could be mankind's undoing: the uneven distribution and wasteful consumption of water for agriculture, industry, and urban consumers across the nation and the greater world. His book, Tapped Out not only explains the problems associated with world supply, it also engages the average the person to contribute to the solution.
Water is the only resource for which there is no substitute. The world's water resources are plagued with a great variety of problems, and they typically fall into one of five broad groups- availability, quantity, quality, distribution, and competing agendas. Rich countries are increasingly finding themselves pitted against poor countries for limited water resources. In many instances, large and wasteful consumers are taking needed, precious quantities from others to slake their insatiable demand. Furthermore, more societies are reaching farther and farther to acquire this precious and critical resource.
Tapped Out has a number of favorable attributes. The book introduces the reader to the problem in an easy to understand manner. All technical terms are clearly defined as they are presented, and the book succeeds immensely in achieving its stated goal- eliciting the reader's interest in water issues. Moreover, Mr. Simon goes beyond lamenting the situation, and offers practical solutions to the problem. Finally, Mr. Simon shows the reader how the average person can be part of the solution to the problem.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 4, 2000
Format: Hardcover
"Tapped Out" is a good primer for those just beginning to study the issue of water scarcity, but there is little new in the book. Simon has taken quotes from news articles and studies and compiled them into a fairly credible call for action, however most of the information he references in the book dates from the early to mid-90s and is pulled from news sources. He calls for more development of desalinization technologies and more conservation, but his suggestions lack insight into the biggest problem facing the world--too many people seeking the good life where adequate water is taken for granted. In the US, where the problem is related to a growing population, and primarily to the country's addiction to water-wasting recreation and industry, he addresses water restriction almost as an afterthought. "Tapped Out" should be just the beginning of an investigation into the future of a thirsty world.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Larry Gowdy on May 26, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I special-ordered "Tapped Out" in 1998 before it first arrived at local book stores. After reading it, I ordered additional copies for family members.

The book's information is not new to many land owners who for several decades have been battling with governments over water rights, but the book's information is ideal for individuals who are new to the topic of water depletion. I sincerely wish that all city dwellers would read the book. The problem of diminishing water supplies is very real, and though most city residents may not be aware of the problem, many land owners and governments are deeply concerned.

Perhaps the most beneficial aspect of the book is that it was written by a politician that was personally familiar with water laws. Though Simon is not a professional writer, I found the book to retain my interest and to be easily digested. I appreciated the frequent references to publications that Simon quoted from; a nonfiction book's value is graded most on its accuracy and references.

Wars were sparked over water in the past, and water is among the top of the list of possible future wars. Today, in May of 2008, there is a global concern over fuel and food, which is as nothing compared to what happens when water is no longer available. "Tapped Out" speaks of the water shortages that currently exist in Mexico, India, Pakistan, Thailand, the Middle East, and throughout the world, including the USA and even the Philippines. It is very important that everyone learns why water shortages are occurring, and "Tapped Out" would be a good book to begin learning from.
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