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Aqua Shock: Water in Crisis

ISBN: 978-1-57660-332-1
226 pages
October 2009
Aqua Shock: Water in Crisis (1576603326) cover image


An objective look at America's rapidly shrinking water supply

Once believed to be a problem limited to America's southwest, water shortages are now an issue coast to coast, from New England to California. In Aqua Shock: The Water Crisis in America, author Susan J. Marks provides a comprehensive analysis of the current conflicts being waged over dwindling water supplies. She presents the findings of university studies, think tanks, and research groups, as well as the opinions of water experts, including Peter Gleick, president of the Pacific Institute for Studies in Development, Environment, and Security. The book

  • Explains where our water comes from and who controls it, as well as the cost of water on cash, commodities, and capitalism
  • Describes the risks of running out of water
  • Details how we can preserve and protect our most precious, yet most undervalued natural resource

Right now, battles over water supplies rage across the country. Aqua Shock is an objective look at how we arrived at this crisis point and what we can do-and should be doing-to solve the water crisis in America.

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Table of Contents



1 Liquid Gold.

2 Where Our Water Comes From: A Global Perspective.

3 The Disappearing Act.

4 Danger! Safe Water at Risk.

5 On Governing Water.

6 America's Water Gods.

7 The Cost of Water: Cash, Commodities, and Capitalism.

8 Can Our Water Be Saved?


Recommended Resources.


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Author Information

Susan J. Marks is an award-winning journalist and author. She spent more than a dozen years at the Denver Post, primarily as Sunday business editor and special projects editor/business. She has also written for BusinessWeek, the Los Angeles Times, Forbes, Woman’s World, ColoradoBiz, and the United Communications Group. Her work has received awards and recognition from local, regional, and national organizations, including Gannett, the Colorado Press Association, and the Society of American Business Editors and Writers. She lives in Denver.
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"We must shift from  business as usual—what we at Earth Policy Institute call Plan A—to a plan of  action to save our environment—Plan B. That plan includes restoration  of aquifers. We can arrest the fall in water tables by increasing water  productivity—getting the most use from every drop of water that we do have.  That means, as Aqua Shock details, recycling, re-use, conservation, and  re-thinking how and where we use water today. We can do it, but time  is not on our side. We must act now before it's too  late." 
—Lester R. Brown
President  of Earth Policy Institute and author of Plan B 4.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization

"Susan J. Marks's book, Aqua Shock: The Water Crisis in America, brings to our attention the dire straits that America faces in the future because of water shortages and pollution of existing sources.  It is time that the American public awakens to these conditions and takes steps, however costly, to change them.  Aqua Shock will help achieve this desired goal."
—Joel A. Tarr
Richard S. Caliguiri University Professor of History and Policy, Carnegie Mellon University

"Thankfully, Marks not only spells out in rich detail how and why we as a country find ourselves in the present predicament, but also how we can emerge from it and satisfy our thirst for water in a safe and sane manner.  It is within our power to solve this problem, and we must."
—Ronald F. Poltak
Executive Director, New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission
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