We are witnessing the end of the golden age of water. Freshwater was once abundant, cheap and safe for humans, but that is changing rapidly. Couple that with the fact that over the next 35 years, the world’s demand for water will rise by 55 percent, and it’s no wonder that water technology and management figure to shape the 21st century much like oil conflicts influenced the 20th century.

Seth B. Darling is a scientist at Argonne National Laboratory and a fellow at the Institute for Molecular Engineering at the University of Chicago. After receiving his PhD from the University of Chicago and serving as the Glenn Seaborg Fellow at Argonne, Dr. Darling joined the Center for Nanoscale Materials at Argonne as a staff scientist. His group’s research is motivated by humankind’s grand challenges with a particular emphasis on solar energy and water treatment. Dr. Darling has published over 100 papers and a popular book on climate change, holds several patents, and lectures widely on topics related to energy, climate, and water.