Alice Outwater was born in 1959 and grew up on Lake Champlain, in Vermont. She studied engineering at the University of Vermont and went to grad school at MIT to learn about water, where she won the prize for Best Thesis in Technology and Policy.
Outwater managed sludge for the Boston Harbor Clean-Up, and wrote articles that resulted in a book contract for The Reuse of Sludge and Minor Wastewater Residuals. She wrote the much translated Cartoon Guide to the Environment with Larry Gonick. Water: A Natural History was a Library Journal Science Book of the Year and a finalist for the PEN/New England award. She consults in water quality, and has lived on a farm since 1991, in Vermont, Hawaii and finally Colorado. She has been married since 1989, and has one grown son.