Most Americans have the luxury of believing that the effects of climate change lie in the future. After all, our houses are not crumbling into melting permafrost, as in Alaska, or the rising sea, as in the Maldives. We have enough water to grow food, unlike millions around the world. And we have drinking water for all, unlike nearly 1 billion other people.
But just because most American drinking water is technically safe for humans does not mean it’s safe for everyone else. About 40% of American rivers are not clean enough for fishing or swimming, according to the EPA. One of those rivers flows in my Colorado backyard.