Campus News

Xavier hosts author of water crisis book

By: Erica Lampert ~Staff Writer~

Xavier University recently hosted journalist Cynthia Barnett, author of the book “Blue Revolution: Unmaking America’s Water Crisis.”

Barnett has researched the water crisis throughout the world. She has traveled to places such as the Suwannee River in Florida and Singapore to research and discover innovative ideas within those communities.

Barnett’s book expresses concern for the water crisis in the United States, predominately focusing on the issue in California.

When she traveled to California, Barnett had discovered that over 300 gallons of water were consumed by each person every single day, which is four times as much as Perth, Australia.

Many researchers and scholars attribute America’s water crisis to climate change, as well as sand and soil that absorb the groundwater. However, Barnett claims that the water crisis also comes from those who carelessly consume water around the world.

“The problem is endemic. It’s not just the arid West that is suffering, since even moist places such as Florida are rapidly using up their groundwater supplies,” Barnett said. “It all comes down to human actions. Conserving water and changing how we manage it would do a great deal to relieve the ever-accelerating crisis,” Barnett said.

Barnett has traveled to Singapore, a city-state that suffers from a water crisis, to obtain ideas on how to conserve the water that America still has left. One of the methods that Singapore utilizes is the purification of sewage water.

On Oct. 19, Barnett spoke at Xavier about her ideas and how the nation’s water supply, which used to be ample, is now diminishing. She spoke about how this situation was and can be avoided and does not have to continue this way. “The ultimate water treatment is that we
treat water differently,” Barnett said.

Barnett believes that if all Americans come together to stop pollutants and conserve more water, the future water supply will not be jeopardizedfor future generations, ecosystems and business.

“The United States needs a new ethic for water. The country must come together to pollute less and use less,” Barnett said. “Agriculture, sewage plants, lawn fertilizers, runoff from our millions of miles of streets and parking lots all are part of the problem.”

Her research and book have placed her at the top for best science nonfiction of the decade. “Blue Revolution: Unmaking America’s Water Crisis” was one of the top 10 science books according to The Boston Globe. The Globe stated that Barnett has taught many howto improve from this crisis of water shortage.