The Water Knife by Paolo Bacigalupi tells what happens in the southwestern USA when a long time drought hits. The Colorado River which supplies almost all of the water to the entire area doesn’t have as much water in it and the southwestern states have fallen apart trying to fight for their rights to whatever water remains. States have closed borders, lawyers fight over whose water rights are older, and water knives threaten and take back water by force.
In the midst of this chaos are beautiful a arcologies, developments that harness the power of biodiversity and recycling and create and clean their own water from their refuse. And outside these arcologies are civilizations at the brink of collapse. Wide spread fear and intimidation are how the other half lives, desperate for when their water is turned on or filtering their own pee when its not. The drought has brought dust storms reminiscent of the Great Dust Bowl.
Lucy, a journalist reporting on the end of Phoenix, and Angel, a Las Vegas water knife, come together to try to piece together their own puzzles which keep overlapping. Everyone has to make choices for their own survival and its hard to judge anyone since hope is not something available.
This was a great read!
Read March 2016