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Science Webby nominees; “The Future of Water” by Steve Maxwell

Natural resources
Eau Canada
“The Future of Water” (American Water Works Association, $29.95)

This book begins with a dystopian vision of life in California 100 years from now: There are no more golf courses or gardens, and people can shower for only a few minutes once a week, even though the United States took over Canada in 2083 to access its water and energy resources. The rest of this thought-provoking book isn’t quite so grim. Authors Steve Maxwell and Scott Yates lay out upcoming challenges and trends, including the prospects for desalination (making fresh water out of seawater), having smaller lawns around homes and even a washing machine that uses negatively charged ions and compressed air instead of water and detergent to clean clothes.

Rachel Saslow

The best online
The wisdom of crowds
Webby People’s Voice Awards

Polls are open through midnight Thursday for the Webby People’s Voice Awards, the populist arm of the 15th annual Webby Awards, the leading honor for online content. The nominees for both sets of awards are chosen by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, but the People’s Voice winners are picked by whoever registers at webby.aol.com. It’s one vote per person per category, but there are well over 100 categories. The science nominees in the Web-site category include heavy hitters such as Scientific American, Discovery News and NASA’s Global Climate Change page in addition to lesser-known entries such as the site for the Exploratorium, a “museum of science, art and human perception” in San Francisco, and Expedition Titanic, which showed a 2010 voyage to the shipwreck in real time. Webby and People’s Voice winners will be honored June 13 at a New York gala that will be streamed live online.

Rachel Saslow

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