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USD Just Read!: 2016-2017: The Price of Thirst by Karen Lynnea Piper

This program encourages literacy and deep dialogue on social themes presented through outstanding literature.

Just Read Events

Fall 2016 Events

  • Peter McBride Short Film Collection 10/25  5:30-8pm UC Room 128
  • Finding Dory 11/01  5:30-8pm  UC Forum B
  • Expert Panel Discussion  11/04   3-5pm  UC Forum B
  • Dr. Karen Lynnea Piper  11/10    7-8:30pm  Shiley Theatre

Register for all other events online, or call (619) 260-7402

or email 

The Price of Thirst: Global Water Inequality and the Coming Chaos

Imagine a world where water is only for those who can afford it. We’re already there. Karen Piper leads us through the frightening landscape where thirst is political, drought is a business opportunity, and multinational corporations control our most necessary natural resource. Visiting the hot spots of water scarcity and the hotshots in water finance, Piper shows what happens when global businesses buy up the water supply and turn off the taps of people who cannot pay.”      Credit: University of Minnesota Press


"Karen Piper is the award-winning author of The Price of Thirst, Left in the Dust, and Cartographic Fictions.  She grew up in China Lake, California, and is currently a literature and geography professor at the University of Missouri. The Price of Thirst is the winner in current events of the Next Generation Indie Book Award for 2014.  She has also received a Sierra Nature Writing Award, a National Endowment of the Humanities Awards, a Huntington Fellowship, a Carnegie Mellon Fellowship, and a Sitka Center residency." Credit: Karen Piper

Water Inequality

Water Inequality

While we here in the United States take 30-minute-long showers, run our dishwashers, and fill and refill our Britas at our leisure, families in other countries are living very differently.

Some pump their water by hand each day, walking back and forth throughout their village just to have water for cooking and laundry. Others, such as refugees in Jordan for instance, conserve their water just to have enough to keep cool. 

According to the UN, 783 million people don't have access to clean water, period. All of which is a problem that photographer Ashley Gilbertson took the time to capture for a project called WaterIs A Family Affair: Access and Usage Across Continents.

He's spent the last six weeks photographing families from seven different countries around the world next to their daily supply of water. As seen by the three highlighted below, there are stark and depressing differences.  

"The most marginalized children and families around the world — those living in poverty, from minority communities or living in remote regions — continue to lack access to life's most vital resource, putting their health, safety, education and survival at risk," he said in a press release.