The future of water doesn’t need to be turbulent or uncertain. Charles Fishman explains how innovators around the world are solving water problems while reducing conflict and misery. Unlike most precious resources, water cannot be used up; it can always be made clean enough again to drink—indeed, water can be made so clean that it’s toxic. Water is the most vital substance in our lives but also more amazing and mysterious than we appreciate.
Fishman’s message is both blunt and optimistic. The next decade will see a revolution in water akin to the revolution we’ve seen in computing, in medicine, in communication, in the last 10 years. Around the world, how people use water, how they get it, what they pay for it, and how they think about it — all will change.
Fishman is a former metro and national reporter for the Washington Post, and was a reporter and editor at the Orlando Sentinel and the News & Observer in Raleigh, NC. Since 1996, he has worked for the innovative business magazine Fast Company. In a Fast Company cover story published in 2007, Fishman examined how the bottled water industry turned what was once a free natural resource into a multibillion-dollar business.
He expanded his investigation of the water industry in the 2011 book The Big Thirst, which examines the future of a natural resource that, Fishman says, we can no longer take for granted. Fishman has won numerous awards, including three times receiving UCLA’s Gerald Loeb Award, the most prestigious award in business journalism.
Co-sponsored by Earth and Environment and International Studies Program.