Blue Revolution by Cynthia Barnett
Unmaking America's Water Crisis

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Americans see water as abundant and cheap: we turn on the faucet and out it gushes, for less than a penny a gallon. We use more water than any other culture in the world, much to quench what’s now our largest crop—the lawn. Yet most Americans cannot name the river or aquifer that flows to our taps, irrigates our food, and produces our electricity. And most don’t realize these freshwater sources are in deep trouble.

Blue Revolution exposes the truth about the water crisis—driven not as much by lawn sprinklers as by a tradition that has encouraged everyone, from homeowners to farmers to utilities, to tap more and more. But the book also offers much reason for hope. Award-winning journalist Cynthia Barnett argues that the best solution is also the simplest and least expensive: a water ethic for America. Just as the green movement helped build awareness about energy and sustainability, so a blue movement will reconnect Americans to their water, helping us value and conserve our most life-giving resource. Avoiding past mistakes, living within our water means, and turning to “local water” as we do local foods are all part of this new, blue revolution.

Reporting from across the country and around the globe, Barnett shows how people, businesses, and governments have come together to dramatically reduce water use and reverse the water crisis. Entire metro areas, such as San Antonio, Texas, have halved per capita water use. Singapore’s “closed water loop” recycles every drop. New technologies can slash agricultural irrigation in half: businesses can save a lot of water—and a lot of money—with designs as simple as recycling air-conditioning condensate.

The first book to call for a national water ethic, Blue Revolution is also a powerful meditation on water and community in America.

About Cynthia Barnett

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Cynthia Barnett is a long-time journalist whose awards include a national Sigma Delta Chi prize for investigative magazine reporting and eight Green Eyeshades, which recognize outstanding journalism in the Southeast. Her first book, Mirage: Florida and the Vanishing Water of the Eastern U.S., won the gold medal for best nonfiction in the Florida Book Awards and was a "One Region/One Book" selection in thirty Florida counties. Barnett earned a master's degree in environmental history and was a Knight-Wallace Fellow at the University of Michigan, where she spent a year studying water. She lives with her family in Gainesville, Florida.
Published September 20, 2011 by Beacon Press. 297 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, Nature & Wildlife, Science & Math, Sports & Outdoors. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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“Somehow, America’s green craze has missed the blue,” writes environmental journalist Barnett (Mirage: Florida and the Vanishing Water of the Eastern U.S., 2007).

Aug 01 2011 | Read Full Review of Blue Revolution: Unmaking Ame...

Publishers Weekly

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Barnett believes that our water problems, from the devastation of Katrina to fights over the Colorado River, derive from "America's widespread lack of respect for water," and that we need to develop a water ethic that values and conserves water, keeps it local, avoids overtapping of aquifers and ...

May 23 2011 | Read Full Review of Blue Revolution: Unmaking Ame...

New York Journal of Books

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In common with many books on big, complex subjects by journalists lacking the strategy, economics analysis, and systems tools to integrate the totality of the subject, an overarching framework is not advanced.Effective water policy and management involves sensitively integrating the multiple disc...

Sep 20 2011 | Read Full Review of Blue Revolution: Unmaking Ame...

If just one person believes that a unifying water ethic is both possible and necessary, then there is hope that we can still turn away from the present course of decaying infrastructure, wasteful water practices and neglect of our natural heritage.

Oct 28 2011 | Read Full Review of Blue Revolution: Unmaking Ame...

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