by Wendy J. Pabich, Ph.D.
When Wendy J. Pabich received a monthly water bill for 30,000 gallons (for a household of two people and one dog), she was chagrined. After all, she is an expert on sustainable water use. So she set out to make a change. Taking on Water: How One Water Expert Challenged Her Inner Hypocrite, Reduced Her Water Footprint (Without Sacrificing a Toasty Shower), and Found Nirvana (Sasquatch Books; September 2012; $21.95) is the story of the author’s personal quest to extract and implement from a dizzying soup of data and analysis day-to-day solutions to reduce water use in her life. She sets out to examine the water footprint of the products she consumes, process her own wastewater on-site, revamp the water and energy systems in her home, and make appropriate choices in order to swim the swim.
Part memoir, part investigation, part solution manual, the book is filled with ruminations on philosophy, science, facts, figures, and personal behavioral insights; metrics to track progress; and guidelines for the general public to make small but important changes in their own lives. Told with humor and grace, Taking on Water offers a raw account of how deep we need to dig to change our wasteful ways.
"Wendy Pabich artfully blends deep research and core science with her own personal journey poured through the insightful eyes and passionate voice of a devoted ecologist. This account will cause you both to pause and reflect as well as itch to turn the page and read on."
John Replogle, CEO of Seventh Generation
"Wendy Pabich's title is exactly what the world should be doing right now: Taking on Water. Water is the most pressing issue facing the world today. To understand why, read this book. You'll learn not only about water, you'll learn about yourself."
Thomas Kostigen, author of The Green Blue Book and You Are Here
"The drink meets the lips in this informed, funny, and insightful tale of two adults and a dog shrinking their water footprint. Read this book. It's the opposite of dry."
Alan Durning, director, Sightline Institute