‘The Big Thirst’ author taps into water issue

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By Samantha Melendez



Charles Fishman, author of “The Big Thirst” discussed his book at CSU Bakersfield on Oct. 27 as part of the One Book, One Bakersfield, One Kern event.

Fishman began his speech humorously by reading reviews CSUB students made while they read or after they finished “The Big Thirst.”

“Anthony wrote, ‘That book put me through hell,’” said Fishman.

While not all reviews were bad, he empathized with the audience by acknowledging how challenging it is to read his book.

Fishman continued his speech by sharing with the audience how he became interested in water around the planet.

Five years ago Fishman and his wife checked into a hotel where Fiji water bottles were offered. He had never seen Fiji water bottles before.

Fishman was interested that the bottle claimed to have water from Fiji and asked his wife if she believed it.

This led Fishman to ‘poke around’ and do research on water. From this experience Fishman wrote a small story on bottled water. The story got so much attention that it led to him to write “The Big Thirst.”

Fishman also spoke about statistics and information on water usage in everyday tasks.

For example, he says every time something is searched on Google it takes two tablespoons to complete that task.

Fishman said 3.5 billion google searches are done in one day, meaning 7 billion tablespoons of water are used everyday by Google.

The CSUB community was put on the spot as Fishman spoke about water usage in the University and how water conservation or reuse could be handled better.

“Here at CSUB, the university uses as much water a day as a family of Bakersfield uses in a year,” Fishman said.

He also stated that the university has one hundred thousand sprinkler heads around campus. He prompted the students to make sure the sprinkler heads were watering the grass and not the concrete.

One Book, One Bakersfield, One Kern was adopted by Kern County in 2002 and since then the community has had the opportunity to meet authors of the books that are chosen for that year.