Not a Drop to Drink:
Our Looming Global Water Crisis

  • The Glass Really Is Half Empty

    In 2018 Cape Town, South Africa, a city of over 4 million, ran out of water. The city government announced that on “Day Zero” residents would have no running water in their homes and businesses. People lined up at communal stations to collect a daily water ration. The crisis was only averted at the last minute, in part by the arrival of exceptional storms.

  • Growing Food in the Desert

    Unlike many global problems today, the drinking water shortage has clear solutions. Most of the world’s fresh water use is not for drinking, but for agriculture—perhaps as much as 80%–making agriculture the most promising focus for water conservation.

  • Water, Hard and Soft

    In the 20th century, massive dams, aqueducts, and centralized treatment plants dominated water planning. This infrastructure produced some of the most important developments in human history, notably a great reduction in water-related diseases and deaths. But negative consequences of this “hard” infrastructure have led us toward a new, “soft” approach. Mimicking the natural processes of the water cycle is a key component of this new “soft” direction.