Synopses & Reviews
"In case you needed another harangue about sustainability, here comes self-proclaimed 'Water Diva' Pabich (according to Buddhist tradition, this is a water spirit, 'connected to all liquids'). To be fair, Pabich has a Ph.D. in environmental engineering from M.I.T., and is a recognized water expert, so if there is someone you should listen to on the subject of your wasteful water consumption, it is probably her. The impetus for this book was in fact Pabich's own water bill: the realization that she and her husband, James, had used 'almost 30,000 gallons' of water in a month at their Idaho home. The disparity between her water usage and her water diva status causes Pabich to research and innovate in an attempt to curb her direct use of water and reduce her 'water footprint'‚--îthe water required to produce other products she consumes, such as olive oil and bread. Pabich presents well-researched facts and some tips, but the book is relentlessly energetic in a way that can be off-putting. Perhaps only those fired up on the water-use issue themselves will find some common ground. Agent: Laurie Abkemeier, DeFiore and Company.
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"Pabich, who holds a PhD in environmental engineering, presents a passionately personal account of fulfilling her dreams as a WaterKeeper that contains quantitative data and scholarly insights without being the least bit off-putting. Pabich’s chagrin at her monthly water bill tallying 30,000 gallons for two people jolted her in ways that many readers will relate to. Her self-image as a water deva (spirit), author, teacher, and public champion of sustainable water use compromised, she designed what she calls the Water Deva Challenge. Reducing her water footprint meant making small changes in her life in a high-alpine-desert locale, from enjoying her homemade solar shower despite having to disrobe in a backyard with a less-than-solid fence to developing a system for the judicious harvesting, collecting, storing, and distributing of rainwater while contriving arid landscaping alternatives to 'our deeply embedded cultural attachment to the lawn.' Pabich winningly works DIY information into her humorous memoir."
"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
"In her book Taking on Water, Wendy Pabich explains the 'diamond-water paradox': 'Although water is more useful than diamonds—in fact, it is essential to life—diamonds command a significantly higher price in the market.' ... Pabich reinforces that it’s our aggregate individual impact that’s the real problem. Remaking our food system, fighting harmful sources of energy (it is called hydrofracking, after all), calling for corporate accountability—these are all battles worth fighting for water’s sake, too.”
"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
When Wendy 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 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 onsite, 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, both serious and humorous, to track progress; and guidelines for the general public for making small (or perhaps monumental) 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.
About the Author
Wendy J. Pabich (pronounced PA-bick) is an environmental scientist, educator, adventurer, and artist obsessed with all things water (www.waterdeva.com). As the founder and president of Water Futures, Inc. (www.waterfuturesinc.com), Wendy finds innovative solutions to one of the planet's most pressing problems--the quest for sustainable water. Her passion for mountains, outdoor adventure, and other cultures takes her to places near and far, including Alaska, Patagonia, and the Himalayas, where she explores on skis, on foot, and by water. She has taught for MIT and the Sierra Institute, and she holds a PhD in Environmental Engineering from the Parsons Water Resources Laboratory at MIT, an MS in Urban Studies and Planning from MIT, an MS in Geology (coastal) from Duke University, and a BA in Geography from Dartmouth College. She lives in Hailey, ID.