With The Ripple Effect, Alex Prud’homme has changed the way we think about the water we drink. Inspired by an interest in our worldwide obsession with bottled water, Prud’homme undertook an ambitious quest to understand the evolving story of freshwater. What he found was shocking: as the climate warms and world population grows, demand for water has surged, but supplies of fresh water are static or dropping, and new threats to water quality appear every day.
The questions he sought to answer were urgent: Will there be enough water to satisfy demand? What are the threats to its quality? What is the state of our water infrastructure--both the pipes that bring us fresh water and the levees that keep it out? How secure is our water supply from natural disasters and terrorist attacks? Can we create new sources for our water supply through scientific innovation? Is water a right like air or a commodity like oil--and who should control the tap?
Like Daniel Yergin’s seminal classic The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money, & Power, The Ripple Effect is a masterwork of investigation and a dramatic narrative, spanning from the alleged murder of a water scientist in New Jersey to the epic confrontation between salmon fishermen and copper miners in Alaska. The Ripple Effect is a major achievement and will change our understanding of the importance of water forever.