environment | November 07, 2012

H20, Reimagined: Charles Fishman At The 2012 Water and Health Conference

"If there are places where there is inadequate water or inadequate water service, then we should swoop in there and insist on knowing why and insist on fixing the problem," Charles Fishman said in a recent interview. Encouraging people to get involved was one of the takeaways Fishman drove home in a keynote speech at the 2012 Water and Health Conference late last month. The conference brought together a team of professionals to address issues with sanitation, access to drinking water now and in the future, and the intersection of climate change and water-related issues. In Fishman's book, The Big Thirst, he explores these problems in detail—explaining that water cannot be destroyed and can always be purified for drinking. However, many places in the world still have little to no access to clean water, and Fishman passionately argues that creative solutions need to be made now to rectify that situation.

In the interview, Fishman recounts the event that first sparked his interest in water-related issues. Five years ago, he visited his parents in a Miami hotel room, where he was served FIJI bottled water for the first time. "Fifty-three percent of the people in Fiji do not have clean, safe drinking water," Fishman explains, "so you can walk into a convenience store on Franklin Street and get water from Fiji easier than the people who live in Fiji can get it, and you don’t need water from Fiji — and they do." In his speeches, Fishman provides compelling findings to suggest that we are living in a new age of water. We are being faced with more stress over its availability and greater opportunities to use it more sustainably than ever before, he tells audiences on the stage and in The Big Thirst. He tells us not only why we need to care about using our water more effectively, but also, how we can benefit and profit from doing so.

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