water quality & conservation
Water Conserve is a water conservation portal providing up-to-date news stories from around the world and hundreds of links to water-related sites, organized into categories. www.waterconserve.org/
American Ground Water Trust promotes awareness of the environmental and economic importance of ground water through educational tools such as books, conferences, pamphlets, and videos, and provides guidance in testing water quality and a consumer hotline for ground water. www.agwt.org, 800/423-7748
Groundwater Foundation works with communities to cultivate ground water awareness by sponsoring local Groundwater Guardian teams made up of business people, citizens, educators, and local government officials to assess their community's ground water protection needs and then develop a strategy to meet those needs. www.groundwater.org
Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Waterand Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water, oversees the implementation of the Clean Water Act and the Safe Drinking Water Act by working with local government, states, tribes, and other partners to educate the public about the water supply and insure its quality. www.epa.gov/ow/www.epa.gov/safewater/
U.S. Geological Survey collects and analyzes water data from around the nation and generates maps, reports, and software with information pertaining to ground water, surface water, stream flow, and water use. The Learning Web provides projects for K-12 students and lesson plans for teachers, as well as additional science education resources. water.usgs.gov
H2Ouse offers tips for water conservation in every room in your house and in your lawn, including suggestions about purchasing water-thrifty appliances and a discussion of greywater systems. www.h2ouse.org
watersheds & rivers
Water Alliance connects and supports local Baykeeper, Riverkeeper, and Waterkeeper, programs that work to protect their communities' waterways and water quality. Waterkeepers research and advocate on behalf of their watersheds. www.waterkeeper.org
Center for Watershed Protection provides local governments, activists, and watershed organizations with the technical tools for protecting lakes, rivers, and streams and is focused on protecting small watersheds from the effects of sprawl. www.cwp.org
Clean Water Network helps you identify and investigate your watershed, including state-by-state fact sheets on water quality. Their Help Center identifies useful websites to help you work with the media on water-related issues, to find policy and legal tools, and to write letters to the editor and to elected officials. Its “member's links” webpage connects you to organizations working in your state. www.cwn.org
The National Watershed Network is a registry of locally led watershed partnerships that you can search to identify groups that have faced issues similar to yours in their watershed. www.ctic.purdue.edu/KYW/nwn/nwn.html
Campaign for Safe and Affordable Drinking Water is an alliance of consumer, environmental, and public health organizations working to educate the public about drinking water and advocating on the federal level for safer drinking water. Provides tips on how to interpret annual “right to know” water statements, www.safe-drinking-water.org, 202/895-0420 ext. 135
Clean Water Action is a national citizens organization with 700,000 members that organizes grassroots groups and coalitions, and oversees campaigns to elect environmental candidates and solve communities' environmental problems. www.cleanwateraction.org, 202/895-0420
Public Citizen's Water for All campaign works to protect universal access to clean and affordable drinking water in the U.S. by keeping it in public hands. The campaign offers information on the issues and major players in the battle against privatization. www.citizen.org/cmep/water/
National Defense Resources Council, one of the nation's leading environmental organizations, advocates on behalf of legislation designed to protect fresh and ocean waters. NRDC also produces reports that inform the public on water issues, including “What's on Tap? Grading Drinking Water in U.S. Cities,” which evaluates drinking water quality in 19 urban areas. www.nrdc.org/water/
American Rivers monitors federal legislation and the actions of federal government, oversees a dam removal campaign, tracks river-related news, and serves as a gateway to organizations around the country working to preserve rivers. American Rivers publishes “America's Most Endangered Rivers,” an annual report of troubled rivers that identifies crucial decision makers and points out opportunities for the public to take action on behalf of each river. www.americanrivers.org
River Network is designed to support grassroots river and watershed conservation groups by offering assistance in fundraising, organizational development, and small grants. The website includes a directory of 3600 grassroots conservation river and watershed groups, local and federal agencies, and an online course on how to use the Clean Water Act to protect your local river.
Trout Unlimited staff and volunteers testify before Congress, publish a quarterly magazine, intervene in federal legal proceedings, and work with 500 national chapters to conserve, protect, and restore North America's trout and salmon fisheries and their watersheds. www.tu.org
Blue Gold: The Fight to Stop the Corporate Theft of the World's Water, by Maude Barlow and Tony Clarke, lays out the case against privatizing water in a clear and forceful manner, and suggests some ways to fight back. New Press, 2002.
Cadillac Desert: The American West and its disappearing Water, by Marc Reisner, is one of the classic texts on water in the American West. A work of both investigative journalism and historical inquiry, it explores the devastating effects of human attempts to manage and profit from water in the arid West. (Viking, 1986.) The book has been turned into a four-part video, “Cadillac Desert,” Home Vision Select, 1997.
Every Drop for Sale, by Jeffery Rothfeder, an investigative journalist, explores the turmoil over the world's growing water scarcity and suggests water will be the flashpoint for future conflict. Tarcher/Putnam, 2001.
The Gift of Rivers: True Stories on Life on the Water, edited by Pamela Michael, is a collection of river stories that serves as an introduction to some of the world's leading authors who write about water. Travelers' Tales, 2000.
My Story as Told By Water, by David James Duncan, is an engaging series of essays in which the author celebrates water and watersheds and issues a call to action for their protection. Sierra Club Books, 2001.
Pillar of Sand: Can the Irrigation Miracle Last? by Sandra Postel, is one in a series of books by a leading water expert. In this book she takes up the crucial and increasingly imbalanced relationship between irrigation, food production, and population growth. Norton, 1999.
Plan B, by Lester R. Brown, tackles the major environmental challenges facing the world, including water scarcity, and proposes a global cooperative effort to preserve the world's resources. Norton 2003.
Red Delta: Fighting for Life at the End of the Colorado River, by Charles Bergman, tells the story of the Mexican delta where the Colorado River empties into the Gulf of California, an area that represents some of the best restoration and conservation opportunities on the continent. Defenders of Wildlife, 2000.
The Riverkeepers: Two Activists Fight to Reclaim Our Environment as a Basic Human Right, by John Cronin and Robert F. Kennedy, Jr, narrates the successful personal and legal battles undertaken by environmentalists and fishermen to restore the Hudson River and to hold polluters accountable for its near destruction. Scribner, 1997.
Rivers for Life, by Sandra Postel and Brian Richter, explains the importance of rivers and the benefits of keeping them free of dams. With case studies from Australia, South Africa, and the United States. Island Press, 2003.
Water Follies: Groundwater Pumping and the Fate of America's Fresh Waters, by Robert Glennon, argues that Americans are spoiled by excessive groundwater pumping and that our habit of draining groundwater reserves faster than they can be replenished amounts to an ecological disaster. Island Press, 2002.
Water: The Fate of Our Most Precious Resource, by Marq de Villiers, provides a history of human water projects and a thoughtful overview of water conflicts and scarcity worldwide. Houghton Mifflin, 2000.
Water Wars: Drought, Flood, Folly, and the Politics of Thirst, by Diane Raines Ward, examines the history of water projects around the world, and outlines the dangers that face a water-scarce present and future. Riverhead Books, 2002.
Water Wars: A Story of People, Politics and Power, by Honey Rand, is an insider's look at the dispute over public water in west central Florida. Rand focuses on local activists and policy makers as they worked for consensus. Xlibris, 2003.
Water Wars: Privatization, Pollution, and Profit, by Vandana Shiva, argues that the world's most important conflicts are rooted in struggles over water and she identifies the human cost of dams and privatization and the droughts they cause. South End Press, 2002.
The World's Water: The Biennial Report on Freshwater Resources, 2002-2003, by Peter Gleick vol. 3, outlines a decentralized and efficient water management plan to meet the global water crisis. Gleick also reports on climate change, dams, and privatization. Island Press, 2003.
youth & teachers
Adopt A Watershed uses a local watershed as a living laboratory in which K-12 students engage in hands-on activities. Curriculum is designed to build over a course of years and to serve as part of the core science curriculum. The program combines classroom learning and field work. www.adopt-a-watershed.org
EcoSchools' Water Systems on School Groundslists resources to help students and teachers identify and understand the water systems on their school grounds and to help them start related projects of their own. Case studies of water projects are available.www.ecoschools.com/Water/Water_wSidebar.html
Educating Young People About Water has a database of 151 water-related curricula that includes materials to develop community-based youth programs and to link educators with key community members in partnerships for water education. www.uwex.edu/erc/eypaw/
Give Water a Hand is a national watershed education program. Their youth Action Guide and the Leader Guidebook (for youth leaders and teachers) are easy-to-follow, illustrated guides about how to organize and carry out effective action-oriented local projects. www.uwex.edu/erc/gwah/
Groundwater University, sponsored by the Groundwater Foundation, is an annual three-day adventure at an educational center along the Platte River in Nebraska for youth ages 12 to 15. Students and teachers learn from national groundwater experts. www.groundwater.org/pe/gu.html
Project WET (Water Education for Teachers) promotes stewardship of water resources through the dissemination of classroom-ready teaching aids and the establishment of internationally sponsored Project WET programs. www.projectwet.org/aboutus.html
Water Recycling in Schools, the Triangle School in North Carolina reclaims wastewater on the school site through a constructed wetland, a greenhouse containing soil filters, and an aquatic ecosystem. The on-site treatment facility recycles water. A case study of the projects is available. www.waterrecycling.com/
Father Water, Mother Woods: Essays on Fishing and Hunting in the North Woods, by Gary Paulsen, is a series of autobiographical essays by a well-known author, who regularly seeks adventure in water and the wilderness. Ages 9 to 12. Delacort, 1994.
River of Words: Images and Poetry in Praise of Water, edited by Pamela Michael, is the result of an annual contest held by River of Words that invites students, ages 5 to 19, from around the world to submit poetry and art related to the topic of watersheds. Thousands of submissions are culled down to 100, which are published each year in a book. Heyday Books, 2003. www.riverofwords.org