Charles Fishman

How Can a Drought This Big Sneak up on Us?

  Weather forecasting has gotten a lot better in the U.S. in the last 20 years — today, the four-day forecast is as accurate as the two-day forecast was in 1988. And storm forecasting — both for tropical storms, like Isaac, and winter ...

San Antonio’s Popular River Walk Relies on Recycled Water

  I love a good sewage treatment plant. The wastewater treatment plant of San Antonio, Texas, USA, resembles its sister plants around the world: a wide expanse of deep, in-ground concrete tanks filled with brown liquid. There’s a faint ...

U.S. Bottled Water Sales Are Booming (Again) Despite Opposition

  Despite organized anti-bottled-water campaigns across the country and a noisy debate about bottled water’s environmental impact, Americans are buying more bottled water than ever. In 2011, total bottled water sales in the U.S. hit 9.1 billion gallons — 29.2 gallons of ...

Water Books: Soak Up Some Knowledge for World Water Day

If you’ve read about World Water Day in today’s headlines and on your favorite blogs, and are thirsty for more stories and data on the planet’s H20 problems, check out the following books, all published within the ...

Unfortunately, You Can’t Get Your Water over WiFi

    In the last two years, we have spent a huge sum of money on infrastructure — one kind of infrastructure. Infrastructure — that’s the stuff we know is important but unsexy. The asparagus of investment. But these infrastructure numbers ...

When It Comes to Water, We’re All Maya Now

    It’s possible that the stunning Maya civilization — with mastery of mathematics and astronomy, farming, water management, pyramid building and city planning — was undone by summer rain. Not enough summer rain. Undone, in fact, by exactly the kind ...

Bottled Water Is Silly — But So Is Banning It

  I remember the moment when the silliness of bottled water became vividly clear to me. I was standing in the factory in San Pellegrino, Italy, at the foot of the Italian Alps, where San Pellegrino water is sealed in ...

Even Your Evian Was Pee at Some Point

  A couple nights ago, my family ate dinner at a restaurant. The silverware we used was in someone else’s mouth at lunch — those forks and spoons right on some stranger’s tongue. Last week, I stayed at a ...

Ireland to Charge for Water for the First Time

  If you’re one of the 4.5 million people who live in Ireland, you pay no water bill. Municipal water is free, no matter how much you use. And no one knows how much you use — not even you. Ireland ...