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The Big Thirst By Charles Fishman: Smart Water (Essay Sample)


You will be writing about “The Big Thirst” by Charles Fishman.
Requirement 1:
Choose the describe the 3 most important aspects ( concepts, issues, factual information, etc.) of the reading. You MUST justify your choices.
Requirement 2:
You must identify two aspects of the reading that you either don't understand or which you disagree, and briefly discuss why these aspects interfered with your understanding or lead to your disagreement of the reading. Although you might identify more than two elements, you must put them in priority order and limit your self to the two most important ones. You must justify your choices. If you believe that the text contains nothing that you have failed to understand or contains nothing with which you disagree, then you must put yourself in the mindset of another and explained why he or she might disagree with the text.
Requirement 3:
You must contemplate and express what you believe are the implications or applications of the text. This requirement reflects your curiosity about the topic and reveals what you think.


Course Code:
The Big Thirst by Charles Fishman
Fishman explores the relationship between water and how and why we must rethink its place in our lives. He notes that we have been taking this resource for granted and we have not given much thought and instituted the necessary legal and infrastructural framework to ensure our survival is guaranteed. Fishman describes and analyzes various cases of how we have utilized water and how in each of these cases the resource has become ‘abundant' or ‘scarce.' Throughout the book, he explores three issues about our relationship with water that are eye-opening and explains why it is important to rethink our relationship with this natural resource.
Smart water
The author has cautioned that in the future we will have to adopt smart utility of water. We have to rethink the way we utilize water and use it as a finite resource rather than perceiving it as an infinite resource. This smart utility of water is necessary and the only solution that could help us transition to another era after the ‘golden age of water.' Fishman draws the example of how Las Vegas, a city built in the desert has adopted smart approaches on how it utilizes water to guarantee its survival in the searing heat of the Nevada desert and the ever-ballooning population. He uses this case to show that if we redefine how we utilize this natural resource, we will guarantee the survival of our species. He describes how Las Vegas manages to recycle 94% of its water to ensure all taps and fountains within the city are kept running. He argues that Las Vegas has moved to the smart utility of water by investing in better water infrastructure. Nearly 40% of the water is not recycled for drinking standards to cut on the cost of the recycling, rather it is recycled for outdoor use only. The city has two parallel systems of water distribution which do not mix but at the recycling plant. This is a good example of the smart utility of water. Fishman argues that the future is dependent on adoption of smart ways of utilizing water.
Water as a substance is plenty but as a resource it is scarce
It is difficult to comprehend this phrase at least from a myopic perspective. While over 70% of the earth's surface is water, it is not available in sufficient quantities in the places where we have come to depend on. Fishman describes how some places in India, Australia and United States continue to face water ‘crisis' while in fact, water hasn't reduced in volume. In places like Murray-Darling Basin of southeastern Australia, he explores how water distribution and utility has been heavily politicized because it is perceived to be reducing and with time more of it is needed. He ironically describes how one of the NASA scientists who helped deploy the very space probe carrying NASA instruments that discovered water on the Moon lives in a New Delhi suburb that receives 90 minutes of running water per day. Fishman also describes how water, as a resource is scarce yet globally, it is plenty just not in directly usable nature. Water is increasingly becoming scarce due to our ignorance and destruction of the environment such that water cannot clean itself or replenish in its natural sources in sufficient amounts to support our utilization scale. It is thus being increasingly rationed and being sold at insane prices as bottled water. On the other hand, water as a substance is still in our oceans and trapped in rocks far below the earth surface. It is found in polluted rivers and lakes only that it cannot be directly consumable. Humanity

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