23 Nov

Grist

We need to talk about our national drinking problem. With more than half the country still devastated by drought, and all the experts saying we’d better get used to it, it seems like an appropriate time to discuss water conservation. Problem is, we’re not too great at it: While much of the world lacks this most precious resource on a daily basis, we only need locate the nearest tap to quench our thirst — and some of us still shell out cash to drink from a plastic bottle instead. How can we start to see water like the urgent issue it is?

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.” She then quotes Adam Smith: “The things which have…

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