14 August 2014

Happy birthday to me -- here's a gift for you!

A refreshing bath in Canadian snowmelt
It's my 45th birthday today, and life in Amsterdam is good. Cornelia is going to get a masters in Urban and Regional Planning. I've just started as an assistant professor of economics at Leiden University College, a new school affiliated with the 400+ year-old university that is different better for me due to its emphasis on teaching over research.

I'm sure you'll learn more in the coming year(s), but let's get to the exciting part -- your gift!

A few months ago, I was going back and forth on pricing Living with Water Scarcity, i.e., finding a balance between cheap (more sales) and expensive (more revenue). That debate was complicated by the (real or imaged) ideas that higher prices mean more value or a greater obligation to read for some people at the same time as non-zero prices create a barrier for people who lack credit cards, doubt the book's value, or have plenty of "free" stuff to read.

I've been thinking over these issues over the past few months, and I've decided to lower the PDF price from $5 to free because revenues to me are not as important as getting this book into people's hands and its ideas into their heads.

To get your copy, click here

I hope that people who download the book will read it, recommend it to others, and review it on Amazon, their blogs, facebook, and other websites. More important, I hope that my book helps readers and leaders engage in fruitful debates that improve water policies in their communities

Bottom Line: Everyone needs to do their part when it comes to managing our water, so I am giving my book to you for free. Your job is to use its ideas to inspire local action and help your community.


  1. Congratulations, and thanks a lot for this present! A pity my holidays have finished already to start reading it inmediately, but I will find some moments for sure. Keep up the good work. Johannes

  2. Happy Birthday and good times over in Amsterdam! I've really enjoyed learning from your blog. And thank you for the educational gift.

  3. Thanks for sharing David! Happy birthday!

  4. Thanks David! (I just have to figure out how to print two pages one to save some trees - cant do screen reading!)

    Happy birthday!

  5. @Melissa -- should be easy to specify Print>Paper size and handling>Multiple. If you have a duplex printer, then you can get 4pp/piece of paper, or 25 sheets for the whole book :)

  6. Belated happy birthday David!
    Happy to see fresh clear waters in your picture. Unfortunately where I live on the Bay of Biscay / Gulf of Gascony the beaches have been closed many times this summer due to very polluted waters. Another summer goes by without putting a foot in the water.

  7. @Xenia -- does anyone know where the pollution comes from? Coastal discharges? River pollution? Any way to identify the polluters?

  8. One good turn deserves another.

    After reading that your were offering your book for free, I went to Amazon and paid the $5 anyway.

    Thank you!

  9. @tylerh -- hope you like it... twice!


  10. Thanks a million. I will buy it at amazon, just as a jesture :)

  11. @David: Yes we know that the polluted waters come from agricultural and micro-industrial discharges as well as town and village waste waters, which are mixed with rain water and released in the ocean as long as the rain collection system and waste water systems are not separated. But of course the municipality has budgeted for 100.000 euro report to figure out what to do and at the same time more than 2,5 m. Euro allocated to a roller skate area in at town where more than 60% of the population is above 55 years old. Logic??

  12. @xenia -- sounds like politicians with different preferences from voters. Democracy failure? Corruption? Time for voters to speak out at city council meetings?


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