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Reading About Water

Resources on water issues in California and beyond.


Reading About Water is a common reading program at Fresno State, started by the campus Water Cohort in 2014, when California was in one of the most severe droughts in its history. That drought has passed, but water is still at the center of many issues for California and the Central Valley. Reading About Water uses a common text on water each spring and invites faculty from all disciplines to incorporate it into their courses, allowing students to gain an understanding of water issues from many different perspectives.

This guide provides further information resources and background for Reading About Water participants and others who may be interested.

Reading About Water 2018-19

Previous Reading About Water books

Water topics

Water is essential for life and humans use it in many ways, so there are many topics around water that may relate to the text and/or your course material. Here are some ideas for topic areas:

  • Agricultural use of water: supply, politics, irrigation efficiency, changes in crops in response to supply problems
  • Residential and commercial water use: supply, conservation, water quality, sanitation, recycled water
  • Groundwater: overdraft, land subsidence, recharge
  • Energy: generated by water or used to supply water
  • Ecological needs for water: endangered species, climate change
  • Water rights and law
  • Flooding and flood control
  • Water resources management and sustainability