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Blue Revolution: Unmaking America's Water Crisis

4.26  ·  Rating Details ·  106 Ratings  ·  18 Reviews
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 th ...more
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published September 20th 2011 by Beacon Press (first published January 1st 2011)
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Craig Pittman
Apr 07, 2012 Craig Pittman rated it it was amazing
Cynthia Barnett knows more about water production and consumption than anyone I ever met, and she shares a great deal of her hard-won knowledge in this astonishing book, which I highly recommend to anyone who drinks, bathes or sprinkles a lawn with the stuff. Barnett, formerly a reporter for "Florida Trend" magazine, first wrote about Florida's water woes in her terrific book "Mirage." Now she's tackled the American and global approach to water use and conservation in her new book, which checks ...more
Jul 11, 2013 Emily rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, beyond, 2014
This book is lovely. Well researched and diverse in the scope of its water stories around the world, it strongly promotes a renewed water ethic for the United States rooted in reverence as well as pragmatism. Technology won't save us. We have to do more than throw money or legislation at the problems that face us. I don't know if Barnett's vision goes far enough, but it's a beautiful start.
Jun 11, 2011 Matthew rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: water
Excellent! Check out my full review on my blog at
Fataima Ahmad
Nov 10, 2015 Fataima Ahmad rated it it was amazing
An important book! Everyone should read this one!
Jun 18, 2017 Heather rated it it was amazing
Blue Revolution outlines water issues around the globe and what some areas have done to conserve.
Hopefully readers will be more aware of the water crisis and their water usage, and communities will create their own water ethic.
Sacramento apparently loves to be seen as environmentally green. Its promotional nicknames keep getting greener. First it was "City of Trees," then "Sustainable Sacramento," followed by "Greenest Capital City in the U.S." Now, Mayor Kevin Johnson is pitching the metropolitan area as the next "Greenest Region of the Country."

Cynthia Barnett challenges Sacramento's greenhood in the opening chapter of Blue Revolution, an awareness-raising book about America's disrespect for water. The City of Trees
Feb 25, 2013 Naia rated it really liked it
This is such an important under discussed topic. Water is so overlooked in our society.

This book is a great introduction to the importance of water and how it is used.

The book felt very unbalanced; the transitions between chapters were abrupt. She often mentions topics in passing hinting at later discussion but they are never brought up again (infrastructure, mining, manufacturing, well and septic use, dam controversy).

The author focused many pages towards the wastefulness of watering lawns; y
Nelson Smith
Feb 14, 2017 Nelson Smith rated it it was amazing
An important book. Highly recommended.
Oct 03, 2011 Efox rated it liked it
Shelves: science-books
Cheap, abundant water is an illusion that American's have clung to for a long time. A lot of our solutions to continue this abundant and cheap facade going have actually exacerbated the problems that Americans are facing. Barnett takes a look at where we've been, where we are and where we're going in America if we don't change the way we think about and use our water.

Since this is the world I work in I was pretty familiar with a lot of the concepts of conservation and crisis of infrastructure a
Jul 30, 2013 Randy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Living in Prescott, AZ, we are a high-desert area that has been in drought for many years, with more to come. Water is a precious commodity, and there are constant arguments and discussions about our lack of it. Aquifers (the Little Chino and the Big Chino) are being depleted at a terrifying rate, and the Big Chino is the headwaters for the Verde River, one of only a few truly natural rivers left in Arizona that will surely dry up if enough water is siphoned out of that aquifer..

Water issues see
Brian Bigelow
Jan 26, 2012 Brian Bigelow rated it it was amazing
Shelves: environment
Water is a precious resource that needs to be carefully managed. It's something that has been largely overlooked as is stated in the book. I myself am a bit of a conservationist and yet sometimes I don't the careful usage of water.

To make the case for water conservation, Australia and Singapore are examples that are used for evidence. While Singapore isn't well known for having water issues. It's still an example of careful water management and future issues. Australia on the other hand is the
Jul 23, 2015 Caroline rated it really liked it
This is a very well researched book that I would highly recommend to people already interested in the water crisis and environmental ethics. The first few chapters are very dry (no pun intended). It was hard to get through so I would not recommend this book to someone who isn't very interested in the topic. For those who are interested there is a fountain of information to be gained and the second half flows much better (ok, those last two were intended! :-P)
Feb 14, 2013 Beth rated it it was amazing
This is a very informative and important book about how we need to change our ethic in using water before it's all used up. It's especially relevant to people like myself living in the dry western US. Read it and change your ways!
Apr 23, 2015 Ivana rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
An amazing read! Barnett delves deep into our troubles with water, both in the world and in the United States. Her knowledge and grasp of the problem is wide reaching; she not only explains the problems, but she offers real and attainable solutions.
A must read for everyone.
Jennilyn (Thiboult) Nevins
Jan 06, 2012 Jennilyn (Thiboult) Nevins rated it really liked it
Recommended to Jennilyn by: Professor Klein
An eye opening book that exposes the reader to just how false a sense of security we had regarding the "abundance of water" in the US (and Florida as a resident).
Julia Pillard
Jun 17, 2015 Julia Pillard rated it it was amazing
A really enjoyable, informative read about the water issues currently facing our world. I read it for a class and enjoyed every minute of it.
Jun 14, 2012 Sam rated it it was amazing
Extremely important to read for someone interested in the future of this planet (lol, EVERYONE!!).
Mike Caulfield
Aug 04, 2013 Mike Caulfield rated it really liked it
More like a 3.5, but really well researched and presented. And brings home what an important issue this is.
Joel rated it liked it
Jul 02, 2015
Elise Capron
Elise Capron rated it it was amazing
Nov 15, 2013
Natasja rated it really liked it
May 09, 2016
Carrie Naughton
Carrie Naughton rated it really liked it
Apr 09, 2013
Amber Todoroff
Amber Todoroff rated it it was amazing
Jul 18, 2012
Anda rated it really liked it
Aug 08, 2016
Charles Warner
Charles Warner rated it it was amazing
Jun 04, 2016
Laura Lorek
Laura Lorek rated it liked it
Apr 27, 2015
Sierra rated it it was amazing
Jun 08, 2015
Andrew rated it it was ok
Mar 15, 2014
Lindsy Iglesias
Lindsy Iglesias rated it it was ok
Jan 06, 2013
Royce rated it it was amazing
Jul 10, 2013
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Cynthia Barnett is the author of "Rain: A Natural and Cultural History," longlisted for the 2015 National Book Award. Her previous books are "Mirage: Florida and the Vanishing Water of the Eastern U.S." named by The Tampa Bay Times as one of the top 10 books that every Floridian should read, and "Blue Revolution: Unmaking America's Water Crisis" a Boston Globe top 10 science book of 2011.

The Globe
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