As the recent spate of wildfires around the state should remind us, California is still in the midst of its worst drought in recorded history. Water in California often becomes too scarce to support all of the state’s population and its economic activity—and this is made more dire by the existence of a rather large agricultural sector concentrated in the Central Valley. California is a massive agricultural supplier (⅔ of the country’s fruits and nuts) and a large portion of the state’s available water is allocated to agricultural uses.
Worldwide use of water desalination has been growing in the past years. Countries in the Middle East (such as Saudi Arabia and Israel) have made impressive advances and significant investments in desalination technology in the last decade. Israel opened its first large-scale desalination plant in 2005. Ten years later, desalination plants produce 40% of the country’s water supply.
In the U.S., the largest desalination plant came online in Carlsbad, San Diego County this past December— along with a billion-dollar price tag. Although smaller plants have been operating since the 1970s …
This podcast features *spoilers – so, please listen after you’ve read the book unless you are okay with hearing about major plot details and the ending of this amazing novel.
Paolo Bacigalupi’s The Water Knife looks at our use and manipulation of water and water rights in the US and brings us to an ultimate conclusion. In a Southwest decimated by climate change, with the Colorado River a trickle, local and state governments in the Southwest are employing any means necessary to secure water rights. Following several main characters in a desperate search for recently discovered senior water rights for the city of Phoenix. Is #PhoenixRising or is #PhoenixDownTheTubes? NPR, All Things Considered called the novel, “A noir-ish, cinematic thriller set in the midst of a water war between Las Vegas and Phoenix. . . . Think Chinatown meets Mad Max.” Join us as we discuss the plausibility of this near-future Phoenix and the dire straits it’s characters find themselves in.