The water is gone. The wars have begun.
Clean water is a luxury most can no longer afford. Climate change, industrial sabotage, and greed have turned country against country as each one tries to provide for its citizens. Terrorist groups target desalinization plants and frustrated governments hunt those who work against them. Rationing, sequestering, and patrolling have become routine at a time when there are too many people and not enough resources.
While the world around them disintegrates into chaos, Zach and Vivienne hope that their life in a government-run complex will retain some semblance of normalcy. But when attacks on their water supplies bring war to their sheltered community, they must accept their new fate. Stay and fight or flee and endure—it’s a difficult decision with lasting consequences.
Will they choose what’s safe? Or will they choose to survive?
“Enough!” Mr. Lenhart slammed his hand on his desk and everyone fell silent. “We will not be learning how to fight. We will be learning about how to survive.” He lifted his arm, stopping one of the guys up front from saying something. “And by that I mean we’re going to learn how to take apart the sterilizers and put them back together again.”
“But we already know how to do that.”
“Yeah, we did that last year.”
I had to agree.
Mr. Lenhart bent down behind his chair and picked up a large box. Letting it fall to the desk, the contents rattled around like broken pieces. “We haven’t worked with the new ones yet.”
“I thought this was chemistry class. How come we don’t blow anything up anymore?”
“Because we’re using chemistry to survive,” Mr. Lenhart said. “That’s much more important for your future.”
A chorus of groans filled the room and I swear I saw Mr. Lenhart smirk. Most of our regular classes had been reorganized to include lessons about the world we were living in today. History focused heavily on the last two decades leading up to the water crisis. We studied drought tolerant species and extinction science in biology classes. Math was…well math. And chemistry had focused on teaching us the reason why sterilization drops, sanitizing equipment, and desalinization plants worked the way they did.
“Now, first, I’d like you to divide into small groups. I only have a few prototypes of the new sterilizer so we’ll have to—”
A deafening boom shook the classroom floors a split second before all of the windows along the side wall shattered. Tiny glass shards flew through the room, covering most of us in sparkling pieces. Everyone screamed. Some tried to run. I covered my head and fell to the floor, feeling the glass slice my arms like a thousand little teeth.
Jessa’s red hair blended in with the crimson blood running down her face. Her shallow breaths and teary eyes met mine, begging for help. My focus narrowed on her and I lifted my arm. Scrambling to my side, Jessa hugged me tight and sobbed against my shoulder. I looked around the room, ears ringing and adrenaline pumping. Most students were on the floor. Those behind me, and closest to the windows, were covered with scratches and bloody wounds. Some were on the verge of passing out.
Another explosion ricocheted through the air and another round of screams pierced my ears. The blast wasn’t coming from our school but it couldn’t have been more than a couple of blocks away. Glass continued to fall to the floor while I scrambled out of Jessa’s grasp and up to my feet.
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About The Author
Amber Garr spends her days as a scientist and nights writing about other worlds. Her childhood imaginary friend was a witch, Halloween is sacred, and she is certain that she has a supernatural sense of smell. Amber is a multiple Royal Palm Literary Award winner, author of the bestselling novels The Syrenka Series, the award-winning Water Crisis Chronicles, The Leila Marx Novels, and the Death Warden Series. When not obsessing over the unknown, she can be found dancing, reading, or enjoying a good movie. Find out more at www.ambergarr.com.
The Story Behind The Water Crisis Chronicles
As you probably already know, I’ve worked as a scientist in my other life. Over the years, my research has often focused on the conservation and restoration of aquatic species. And a lot of that time, their issues have stemmed from contaminated water or excess pollution in the environment.
For several years, I’ve wanted to write a book about what would happen to the world when humans began fighting over drinking water. And I say began, but really, it has already begun. Do you know you have to purchase water rights in some states out west when you buy property?
Have you ever experienced water restrictions in your neighborhood? Or did you know that several countries are already considered water-stressed? It’s happening, and just to show you how scary it is, here are some facts to consider:
- 1 billion people currently don’t have access to clean drinking water.
- 4 million people die from water related diseases each year.
- By 2025, two-thirds of the world’s population will live in a water-stressed county.
- An American taking a 5 minute shower uses more water than the average person living in a developing country uses in an entire day.
- Over 260 river basins are shared by two or more countries without adequate legal or institutional arrangements regarding water utilization.
- By 2020, California will face a water shortage as great as the amount they consume today.
Worried yet? I know I am. So anyway…back to Waterfall. What will happen when the water disappears? How will society react? What unique science may evolve out of this type of tragedy? All questions I’ve asked myself for years and then had a chance to answer (or hint at) in this series.
I also wanted to highlight the idea of friendship and romance rising up out of the chaos. At a time when the survivors have to fight for every second of their life, I thought it would be nice for them to find some type of comfort in their closest friends. No time for love triangles or petty games when you’re being hunted!
So as you read this series and start thinking more about the water shortages (as I did!), check out these sites to see what little things you can do so that some day we aren’t deserters running for our lives!