Disclaimer: this post may contain affiliate links, which earn me a commission at no additional cost to you.
I’m usually hesitant to read books by celebrities about their philanthropic work and all the self-proclaimed great things they’ve done to help those less fortunate. They usually have a “look at me, I’m so great” vibe. But water access is such an important topic to me, so I decided to give The Worth of Water a try…AND I WAS NOT DISAPPOINTED. This book was actually my favorite non-fiction read for 2022!
There are so many things I appreciate about this book:
- Matt Damon clearly acknowledges his privilege and talks about his desire to help in a way that’s so different from others.
- We hear from both Matt Damon and civil engineer Gary White, founders of Water.org and WaterEquity. Together they clearly and articulately explain why water access is so critical to increasing opportunities and raising communities out of poverty. They also explain how climate change exacerbates water supply challenges and has future implications for water access around the world. For people who don’t work in the water world on a daily basis, it can be hard to understand how water impacts everything, so I appreciate the information provided in The Worth of Water.
- Damon and White emphasize throughout the book numerous times that, while charity is important and critical to helping communities in certain situations, we cannot address the world’s water challenges only through charity. We should not act as “saviors” to communities – telling them what they need to do, implementing unsustainable solutions without meaningful input, and then blaming those communities when the efforts inevitably fail. We need to invest in and empower individuals and communities to find sustainable solutions that work for them. We should work as collaborators and partners, not saviors.
- I love how the authors explain water financing, especially “microloans”. They are a fairly innovative concept, but they have the potential to address some of the world’s toughest water challenges. I work in drinking water finance (US focused), so this book was a great way to learn more about water financing on a global level.
In summary, READ THIS BOOK!! The Worth of Water is an incredible introduction to some of leading efforts to provide sustainable financing and solutions to the communities around the world.
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (5 stars)
Thank you Penguin Random House Audio for the gifted audiobook.