H2Ownership talk Mon Oct 3

dripH2Ownership: A fresh approach to unlocking the three paradoxes of water” will be the first lecture of this fall’s Contemporary Issues Lecture Series. Hear James Workman on Monday, October 3rd, at 7 p.m. in the Young Auditorium.

Mr. Workman is a journalist, speaker, consultant and former writer for statesmen such as President Clinton’s Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt. His book Heart of Dryness was awarded the Society of Environmental Journalists’ 2010 Rachel Carson Environment Book Award. The web site for the book summarizes it thus:

This nonfiction narrative set in the Kalahari dramatizes the timeless struggle over water, the fulcrum of political power. Facing drought, scarcity and climate change the besieged indigenous Bushmen use voluntary survival strategies while Botswana’s government enforces regulatory rule. Their rivalry foreshadows our world, where two in three thirsty humans will soon endure shortages, resource conflict, a $900 billion market, and a global fight for water as a human right.

Andersen Library has ordered a copy of Heart of Dryness, but until it arrives UWW staff and students may request a copy from other UWs via the free Universal Borrowing service. Requested items arrive in 2-4 weekdays.

Mr. Workman’s book is merely a drop in an overwhelming ocean of information, which is not surprising given how critical–and potentially contentious–water is.

The Ripple Effect coverSearch HALCat (Harold Andersen Library’s catalog) and find many titles on water: books such as America’s water and wastewater crisis: The role of private enterprise (2nd-floor New Arrival Island, HD1694.A5 S74 2011), The ripple effect: The fate of freshwater in the twenty-first century (3rd-floor Main Collection, TD345 .P77 2011), and The big thirst: The secret life and turbulent future of water (3rd-floor Main Collection, HD1691 .F55 2011); government publications such as Avoiding water wars: Water scarcity and Central Asia’s growing importance for stability in Afghanistan and Pakistan (online, or 2nd-floor U.S. Documents, Y 4.F 76/2:S.PRT.112-10); and films, .e.g, Flow: For love of water (2nd-floor “Academic” DVDs, HD1691 .F59 2008) and Boiling point (2nd-floor “Academic” DVDs, HD1691 .B65 2004).

Water mapThe federal document listed above references the Pacific Institute, which on its web site provides a great deal of information on water, including a Water Conflict Chronology that “traces the history of water as a tool of war and conflict.” Other groups with informative web sites include the International Water Management Institute and UN-Water, which also links to its partners sites in addition to providing information on its own site, such as the publication Coping with water scarcity. The World Resources Institute provides a global map of “Physical and economic water scarcity.” The U.S. Geological Survey maintains statistics on water quality, use, consumption, etc., such as a figure showing consumptive use and renewable water supply by water-resources region.

Search the Library’s article databases for Mr. Workman and you’ll find articles such as “The Water Ethic: The Inexorable Birth of a Certain Alienable Right” (co-authored with M.F. Simus,  2010, Tulane Environmental Law Journal, vol.23:no.2, pp.439-472). You can also find many, many articles on water, e.g., “Water scarcity: Fact or fiction?” in Agricultural Water Management (Vol.80:no.1-3, 2006, pp.5-22; Special Issue on Water Scarcity: Challenges and Opportunities for Crop Science.)

This lecture is very timely, as we are in the middle of “Water for Life, 2005-2015,” the International Decade for Action. So, go to this lecture and then do some additional research to become better-informed about water issues, because it’s likely you will be dealing with them for the rest of your lives.

Please ask a librarian for assistance with finding materials.

UWW’s Andersen Library is a federal depository with many federal and state documents on a variety of current and relevant issues available to you in the library and online. Come check out your government at Andersen Library!

About Barbara

I am a Reference & Instruction librarian, head of that department in Andersen Library, an associate professor, and a member of the General Education Review Committee and Faculty Senate. I've been working at UW-W since July 1, 1990.
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