In the middle of the Mojave Desert, Las Vegas casinos use billions of gallons of water for fountains, pirate lagoons, wave machines, and indoor canals. Meanwhile, the town of Orme, Tennessee, must truck in water from Alabama because it has literally run out. Robert Glennon captures the irony—and tragedy—of America’s water crisis in a book that is both frightening and wickedly comical. From manufactured snow for tourists in Atlanta to trillions of gallons of water flushed down the toilet each year, Unquenchable ...
In the middle of the Mojave Desert, Las Vegas casinos use billions of gallons of water for fountains, pirate lagoons, wave machines, and indoor canals. Meanwhile, the town of Orme, Tennessee, must truck in water from Alabama because it has literally run out. Robert Glennon captures the irony—and tragedy—of America’s water crisis in a book that is both frightening and wickedly comical. From manufactured snow for tourists in Atlanta to trillions of gallons of water flushed down the toilet each year, Unquenchable reveals the heady extravagances and everyday inefficiencies that are sucking the nation dry. The looming catastrophe remains hidden as government diverts supplies from one area to another to keep water flowing from the tap. But sooner rather than later, the shell game has to end. And when it does, shortages will threaten not only the environment, but every aspect of American life: we face shuttered power plants and jobless workers, decimated fi sheries and contaminated drinking water. We can’t engineer our way out of the problem, either with traditional fixes or zany schemes to tow icebergs from Alaska. In fact, new demands for water, particularly the enormous supply needed for ethanol and energy production, will only worsen the crisis. America must make hard choices—and Glennon’s answers are fittingly provocative. He proposes market-based solutions that value water as both a commodity and a fundamental human right. One truth runs throughout Unquenchable: only when we recognize water’s worth will we begin to conserve it.
Every year, trillions of gallons of water go down our toilet drains. Billions more are expended in the middle of the Mohave Desert in elaborate displays at Las Vegas hotels and casinos. Meanwhile, the citizens of Orme, Tennessee, must truck in water from rural Alabama to satisfy even minimal needs. America's water supply isn't just trickling away; it's thundering toward a crisis that will affect every man, woman, child, and industry. Robert Glennon's Unquenchable not only describes our looming predicament; it also pinpoints the hard market-based choices that we will have to make to alleviate the problem.
"Robert Glennon is a leading-edge legal scholar and passionate water advocate whose thinking is central to an intense debate on the path forward to a water-secure world. I heartily recommend his provocative, information-packed, and highly readable new book Unquenchable."
Cullman Senior Fellow, New America Foundation and former secretary, CA EPA
- Terry Tamminen
“Unquenchable is a worthy successor to Cadillac Desert that ably demonstrates how our most valuable resource is being squandered, ignored, and flushed away. Although it reminds us that water is indeed finite, Unquenchable clearly shows us the solutions to the greatest threat of the 21st century are limited only by politics and greed.”
"Glennon brings home the global problem of availability of drinking water...interesting and timely...recommended."
"Glennon illustrates the depth and complexity of our country''s water problems."
Mother Nature Network
Named a "Top Ten Environmental Book of 2009"
"If you use water, you need to read this book. It's akin to Cadillac Desert"
New York Review of Ideas
"Several books have been published recently addressing the global water crisis, but none has offered such in-depth analysis."
Journal of Arizona History
"Thought-provoking and insightful book that offers and informed and articulate review of the enormous water issues facing Arizona, and the United States as a whole. It should be on the bookshelves of attorneys, environmentalists, public policy managers, and others interested in natural resources."
Robert Glennon is the Morris K. Udall Professor of Law and Public Policy in the Rogers College of Law at the University of Arizona. He is the author of many articles and books, including the acclaimed Water Follies: Groundwater Pumpingand the Fate of America’s Fresh Waters.