sustainability | April 06, 2011

The Poor Pay the Most for Free Water: Charles Fishman's Big Thirst

Here’s an exclusive excerpt from Charles Fishman’s eagerly awaited book, The Big Thirst: The Secret Life and Turbulent Future of Water, which he’s been researching and writing for the last few years. We’ve been passing a pale green galley of it around the office for the last month — it’s an excellent read! Download a chapter of it over at the excellent site,

From Charles Fishman:
Free turns out to be exactly the wrong price for water — whether that water is being used by huge global corporations, farmers, ordinary middle-class citizens, or the poorest people living in developing countries. Water that is so cheap provides no incentive for big users — corporations, farmers, even cities — to spend money necessary to better manage their water. […] And poor people — who have to stand in line for water, or walk to get it from suspect ground-water wells — pay the highest cost for ‘free’ water of all, sacrificing time, good jobs, and even the educations of their children in order to secure their daily ration of water.
Read more about keynote speaker Charles Fishman