The Last Drop
'Smart, sobering, and scholarly.' - Steve Brusatte, the Sunday Times bestselling author of The Rise and Fall of Dinosaurs
A gripping, thought-provoking and ultimately optimistic investigation into the world’s next great climate crisis - the scarcity of water.
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. 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?
In The Last Drop, award-winning environmental journalist Tim Smedley meets experts, victims, activists and pioneers to find out how we can mend the water table that our survival depends upon. He offers a fascinating, universally relevant account of the environmental and human factors that have led us to this point, and suggests practical ways to address the crisis, before it’s too late.
Smart, sobering, and scholarly. Tim Smedley explores the science and politics behind our current water crisis, and with cautious optimism looks ahead for solutions that can save us from a catastrophe that could rival the great upheavals and extinctions of Earth history.
Steve Brusatte, professor and palaeontologist at the University of Edinburgh and Sunday Times bestselling author of The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs
Tim Smedley’s sometimes angry, always informed book is a smouldering indictment of the self-inflicted water wounds we’re causing ourselves and our planet.
Mark Rowe, Geographical Magazine
Here in the UK, we just turn on taps without asking where the water comes from and where it goes to, but Tim Smedley argues eloquently that it’s time for that to change. And by the end of the book, you will be hopping mad and entirely in agreement with him. It's an essential read on a topic that we don’t talk about enough. This book is clear, fascinating and horrifying, but also offers workable solutions that can save us all from the worst. You will never see the water you use in the same way again.
Helen Czerski, BBC broadcaster, UCL physicist and Royal Institution Christmas Lecturer