environment | August 16, 2012

"Don't Waste the Drought," Says Water Speaker Charles Fishman in NYT Op-Ed

America is experiencing one of the worst droughts it has seen in over 60 years, and water speaker Charles Fishman
implores us—in his top-emailed New York Times op-ed—to not “waste” the drought, to use it as a learning moment.

As the author of the bestselling book The Big Thirst: The Secret Life and Turbulent Future of Water, Fishman is an informed source on the vital role that H20 plays in our lives. As he writes in the Times, this period of water scarcity “...represents an opportunity to tackle long-ignored water problems and to re-imagine how we manage, use and even think about water.” Instead of making minor changes to personal water consumption during a period of scarcity only to return to your old ways in times of abundance, Fishman argues that this time should be used to form lasting conservation habits. Extending beyond simply taking shorter showers and turning off faucets, responsible water consumption requires efforts such as not watering one's lawn every day, nor watering it during periods when the sun will steal most of the liquid from the greenery, anyway.

Furthermore, Fishman proposes that giving serious consideration to where certain types of plants are being harvested and whether that climate can realistically support those crops, redesigning utility bills to make them easier to understand and fixing leaky water mains can also significantly change the amount of water being wasted every day. Fishman provides similarly valuable insights on resource preservation in his speeches on water conservation and the current drought adds a component of immediacy to his advice that makes his words resonate louder than ever. While doing a rain dance may not guarantee that it will rain, changing one's views about water now will certainly guarantee that there will be enough to quench our thirsts in the future.

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environment | August 14, 2012