The Last Drop
Water scarcity is the next big climate crisis. Water stress - not just scarcity, but also water-quality issues caused by pollution - is already driving the first waves of climate refugees. Rivers are drying out before they meet the oceans, and ancient lakes are disappearing. Fourteen of the world's twenty megacities are now experiencing water scarcity or drought conditions. It's increasingly clear that human mismanagement of water is dangerously unsustainable, for both ecological and human survival. And yet in recent years some key countries have been quietly and very successfully addressing water stress. How are Singapore and Israel, for example - both severely water-stressed countries - not in the same predicament as Chennai or California, but now boast surplus water? What can we learn from them and how can we use this knowledge to turn things around for the wider global community? Do we have to stop eating almonds and asparagus grown in the deserts of California and Peru? Could desalination of seawater be the answer? Or rainwater capture? Are some of the wilder 'solutions' - such as the plan to tow icebergs to Cape Town - pure madness, or necessary innovation? Award-winning environmental journalist Tim Smedley will travel the world to meet the experts, the victims, the activists and pioneers, to find out how we can mend the water table that our survival depends upon. His book will take an unblinking look at the current situation and how we got there. And then look to the solutions. The Last Drop promises to offer a fascinating, universally relevant account of the environmental and human factors that have led us to this point, and suggests practical ways in which we might address the crisis, before it's too late.