Water and Sustainability

What Is Happening In The World?

1. Water supplies are strained. With increasing demand from urban and agricultural areas, we are bumping up against hard limits: it only rains and snows so much.

2. Dams and diversions are destroying river ecosystems and fuelling unsustainable growth in dry places. Dams harm ecosystems by blocking fish passage, removing natural seasonal vatiations in flow, and 

3. Groundwater stored in aquifers is overused, and many areas may dry out soon.

4. Water supplies are contested between US states, between sovereign nations, and between corporations and citizens. 

Where Can I Learn More?

Water Wars Dianne Ward Secret Knowledge of Water Craig Childs Cadillac Desert Marc Reisner The Big Thirst Charles Fishman

Recommended Reading

Childs, Craig (2001). The Secret Knowledge of Water.
Fishman, Charles (2011). The Big Thirst.
Reisner, Marc (1986). Cadillac Desert.
Royte, Elizabeth (2009). Bottlemania: Big Business, Local Springs, and the Battle Over America's Drinking Water.
Ward, Diane Raines (2002). Water Wars.

Further In-Depth Reading

Crawford, Stanley (1993). Mayordomo: Chronicle of an Acequia in Northern New Mexico.
Harden, Blaine (1997). A River Lost: The Life and Death of the Columbia.
Hundley, Norris, Jr. (20010). The Great Thirst: Californians and Water: A History.
Powell, James Lawrence (2011). Dead Pool: Lake Powell, Global Warming, and the Future of Water in the West.

What Can I Do To Create Positive Change?

Water is the most widely used resource in the world, used to create everything from your food to your electronics to your electricity. More coming soon!

Further Resources

A few great organizations are working in the United States to preserve wild river ecosystems:

American Whitewater works to keep rivers flowing and healthy for recreational boating.
Audubon Society runs the Western Rivers Action Network to advocate for desert rivers.

The Colorado River is often cited as one of the most endangered rivers in the United States. It doesn't run to the ocean. These organizations are working to save it:
Down The Colorado
Save The Colorado

Arizona's water conservation campaign has lots of tips on saving water.