Will there be enough drinkable water to satisfy future demand? What is the state of our water infrastructure—both the pipes that bring us freshwater and the levees that keep it out? How secure is our water supply from natural disasters and terrorist attacks? Can we create new sources for our water supply through scientific innovation? Is water a right like air or a commodity like oil? Will the wars of the twenty-first century be fought over water? As the climate warms and world population grows, demand for water has surged, but supplies of freshwater are static or dropping, and new threats to water quality appear every day. The Ripple Effect is Alex Prud’homme’s vividly written and engaging inquiry into the fate of freshwater in the twenty-first century.