Sustainable Learning Community Resources

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2011-12 Learning Community
Version H20, a Liquid Learning Community on Water


General Resources

Water Consumption
Scarcity; privatization; water wars; bottled water; desalination; conservation.

Water Pollution
Affects to Marine life; dead zones; manufacturing/agriculture; Gulf oil spill; Japan earthquake.

Climate Change & Water
Melting glaciers/rising sea levels; acidification of the Ocean.

Rainwater & fog harvesting; gray water recycling; desalination.

Water History
California/U.S./World History of Water; Water Politics

(*indicates book/video/article available through Foothill Library)



Website by the Pacific Institute has a great deal of information on water and climate change. (Note: we have been given permission to use any articles/reports created by this group in the classroom as long as we cite Pacific Institute as the source.)
March 22nd is the international observance of World Water Day. This website helps with the organization and reporting of World Water Day celebrations around the world. (We will be celebrating @ Foothill with the rest of the world on March 22, 2012!)
Info. on drinking water/sanitation issues and projects around the world.

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(Scarcity • Privatization •Water Wars • Bottled Water • Desalination • Conservation)

Home Water Energy Calculator (from Pacific Institute).

Pacific Institute / Water Conflict Chronology (chronology/timeline, maps, and a database of info on conflicts). (Note: we have been given permission to use any articles/reports created by this group in the classroom as long as we cite Pacific Institute as the source.)

Sierra Club: News and Information from their Water Privatization Task Force.

Running  Global initiative and public information/education project— curriculum info. Info on their documentaries: Running Dry and The American Southwest: Are We Running Dry?
    Huge site with info on projects around the world, curriculum, articles, etc.

World Water Wars website:  Articles on water issues around the world, as well as a page on California issues.

BOOKS: (*indicates book/video/article available through Foothill Library)

Glennon, Robert Jerome. Unquenchable: America’s Water Crisis and What To Do about It. Washington, D.C.: Island Press, 2009. Print. Foothill Call #: TD223 .G578 2009  “Robert Glennon captures the irony—and tragedy—of America’s water crisis in a book that is both frightening and wickedly comical. From manufactured snow for tourists in Atlanta to trillions of gallons of water flushed down the toilet each year, Unquenchable reveals the heady extravagances and everyday inefficiencies that are sucking the nation dry.” -- Publisher description

Roy, Arundhati.  The Cost of Living. Random House, Inc., 1999. Print. This book consists of two parts: "The Greater Common Good" attacks the construction of the Sardar Sarovar Dam on the Narmada river in western India, while "The End of Imagination" denounces India's nuclear tests in May 1998.

Shiva, Vandana.  Water Wars: Privatization, Pollution & Profit. Cambridge, MA: South End Pr, 2002. Print.  Shiva uses her remarkable knowledge of science and society to analyze the historical erosion of communal water rights.  She sheds light on the fact that many of our ethnic or religious wars are really conflict over scarce but vital natural resources.

REFERENCE ARTICLES: (*indicates book/video/article available through Foothill Library)

*Carlson, Scott. “Thinking Outside the Bottle.” Chronicle of Higher Education 1 Oct. 2010: A1-A12. EBSCO Academic Search Premier. Web. 3 May 2011.   “Discusses the sale and use of bottled water at U.S. universities and colleges.” -- Abstract.

*Grzeskowiak, Jennifer. “Just Add Water.” American City and County Sept. 2010: n. pag. EBSCO Academic Search Premier. Web. 3 May 2011. <>. “Focuses on the aspect of water management in the Cities of the Future concept developed by the Water Environment Federation and the International Water Association (IWA).” -- Abstract.

*Gunduz, Zuhal Yesilyurt. “Water--On Women’s Burdens, Humans’ Rights, and Companies’ Profits.” Monthly Review: An Independent Socialist Magazine Jan. 2011: 43-52. EBSCO Academic Search Premier. Web. 4 May 2011. <
login.aspx?direct=true&db=aph&AN=56567597&site=ehost-live>. “The article examines inequalities in access to water around the world. ...  The author also examines the views of the United Nations (UN) and the European Union (EU) on whether water is a human right, a need, or an economic good.” -- Abstract.

*Kang, Inyoung. “Banning the Bottle.” New York Times 7 Nov. 2010: 4. EBSCO Academic Search Premier. Web. 3 May 2011. <
>.  College campuses ban plastic water bottles.

*“Siemens Highlights Saving Energy and Water as a Route to Sustainability.” Engineering & Mining Journal 211.5 (2010): 66-68. EBSCO Academic Search Premier. Web. 3 May 2011. <
>.  “Information on the fourth media summit of Siemens AG held in Essen, Germany in May 2010. Several executives of the company discussed the importance of sustainability and the need for saving energy and water in industrial processes.” -- Abstract.

More resource articles, added by Carolyn Holcroft on 8/1/2011 (Articles for information only. If you need help obtaining permission to use one of these in your classroom, please check with the Foothill Library for information.)

"Water as an essential nutrient: the physiological basis of hydration." European Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2010) 64, 115-123.

"The water needs for LDV transportation in the United States." Energy Policy 38 (2010) 1157-1167.

"Bottled water everywhere: Keeping it Safe." FDA Consumer Health Information, June 2010.

"Is bottled water a better choice than tap water?" American Dietetic Association, May 2008.

"Meeting Report: Pharmaceuticals in Water—An Interdisciplinary Approach
to a Public Health Challenge.
" Environmental Health Perspectives, Vol. 118, number 7, 1016-1020, July 2010.

"FDA Regulates the Safety of Bottled Water Beverages." FDA Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition Food Information, June 2009.

"Position of the American Dietetic Association: Food and Nutrition Professionals Can Implement
Practices to Conserve Natural Resources and Support Ecological Sustainability.
" Journal of the American Dietetic Association (2007) 1033-1043.


Blue Gold: World Water Wars.  (90 min.) Takes a cold hard look at the commodity of water and the stakes for the human race in this award-winning documentary.

Surfrider Foundation. The Cycle of Insanity: The Real Story of Water. Know Your H2O. N.p., 22 Mar. 2010. Web. 4 May 2011.  (19 min.) “A video that connects the impacts of our current water management system to coastal issues and offers common sense solutions to illustrate how we can make progress toward sustainability in water and wastewater management.” -- from the Know Your H2O website.

The Story of Bottled Water video by Annie Leonard (producer of The Story of Stuff):

When the Water Tap Runs Dry.  2009. The threat of climate change is about more than hotter weather.  It’s also about water shortages.  Learn the problems with our water infrastructure. (30 min.)

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(Affects to Marine Life • Dead Zones •Manufacturing/Agriculture • Gulf Oil Spill •
Japan Earthquake)

NIEHS / The National Institute of Enviro. Health Sciences – National Institutes of Health.  Whole section on water pollution: research and articles as well as educational topics.

The Pew Oceans Commission / Pew Charitable Trust.  Several reports on ocean life and pollution.
    Huge site with info on projects around the world, curriculum, articles, etc.

BOOKS: (*indicates book/video/article available through Foothill Library)

*Earle, Sylvia A. The World Is Blue: How Our Fate and the Ocean’s Are One. Washington, D.C.: National Geographic, 2009. Print. Foothill Call #: GC21 .E28 2009  “This book tie-in to National Geographic’s ambitious 5-year ocean initiative—focusing on overfishing—is written in National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Sylvia Earle’s accessible yet hard-hitting voice. Through compelling personal stories she puts the current and future peril of the ocean and the life it supports in perspective for a wide public audience.” -- Publisher description.

*Haerens, Margaret, ed. Offshore Drilling. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2010. Print. Opposing Viewpoints. Foothill Call #: TN871.3 .O338 2010  Multiple points of view on a controversial topic.

*Hahn, Donovan. Moby-Duck: The True Story of 28,800 Bath Toys Lost at Sea and of the Beachcombers, Oceanographers, Environmentalists, and Fools, Including the Author, Who Went in Search of Them. New York: Viking, 2011. Print. Foothill Library Bestsellers.  “Moby-Duck is a journey into the heart of the sea and an adventure through science, myth, the global economy, and some of the worst weather imaginable.” -- Publisher description.


*Barth, Amy. "The Gulf Spill, One Year Later." Discover May 2011: 4. EBSCO Academic Search Premier. Web. 18 May 2011. <

*Cubie, Doreen. “Crisis for Clean Water.” National Wildlife Apr.-May 2011: 14-17. EBSCO Academic Search Premier. Web. 4 May 2011. <
>. “The environmental risk to U.S. streams and wetlands as a result of the U.S. Supreme Court’s interpretations of the U.S. Clean Water Act’s use of the term ‘navigable waters’.” -- Abstract.

*Gore, Al. “The Crisis Comes Ashore.” New Republic 10 June 2010: 10-12. EBSCO Academic Search Premier. Web. 4 May 2011. <
>. “Why the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico presents an important reminder of the necessity of changing our energy policy and energy-consuming habits.” -- Abstract.

*Roberts, Susan J., and Kenneth Brink. “Managing Marine Resources Sustainably.” Environment July-Aug. 2010: 44-52. EBSCO Academic Search Premier. Web. 3 May 2011. <
>.   “An examination of sustainable approaches for marine fisheries management and the role of nutrient pollution, from human activities, on the health and productivity of the ocean.” -- Abstract.

*Tabuchi, Hiroko, et al. “Japanese Plant Begins Dumping Radioactive Water into the Ocean.” New York Times 5 Apr. 2011: 4. EBSCO Academic Search Premier. Web. 4 May 2011.

*Thottam, Jyoti. “How India’s Success Is Killing Its Holy River.” Time 19 July 2010: 28-33. EBSCO Academic Search Premier. Web. 4 May 2011. < /
>.  “Examines environmental conditions on the Ganges River in India.” -- Abstract.

*Zissu, Alexandra. “Cruise Control.” New York Times Magazine 28 Mar. 2010: 79. EBSCO Academic Search Premier. Web. 3 May 2011. <
>.  How cruise ships can set a course for sustainability.


Conservationist Romulus Whitaker shows rare footage of the gharial and king cobra, two of India's most iconic reptiles—endangered because of polluted waterways. (17:19 min)

Engineer Michael Pritchard gives a talk on his Lifesaver water-purification bottle, which could revolution water-delivery systems around the globe.  (9:29 min)

Gasland.  2010. Little did director Josh Fox know that he'd find himself trailing the history and future of natural gas mining for this documentary, Gasland, or so he claims in this moving and evocative political exposé. Thankfully unpretentious and lacking in the didacticism that plagues many political documentaries, Gasland is edifying in the most entertaining and palatable way. Fox's open-ended questions presented during his narration are answered by interviewees found as he travels cross-country to source out water pollution happening as a result of hydraulic fracturing. (107 min)

*Poisoned Waters. Rick Young. 2009. WGBH Education Foundation. DVD. Available in the Foothill Media Center.  Pulitzer prize winning journalist Hedrick Smith examines the rising hazards to our health and the ecosystem, as well as why it’s so hard to keep our waters clean.

Scientist Greg Stone tells the story of how he helped the Republic of Kiribati create an enormous protected area in the middle of the Pacific -- protecting fish, sealife and the island nation itself. (17:16 min)

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(Melting Glaciers/Rising Sea Levels • Acidification)

Climate Institute.  Information on acidification and other impacts to the ocean from climate change.

Pacific Institute.  Lots of research and information on the effects of climate change on water.

U.S. Geological Survey website on Coastal and Marine Geology.  Covers a number of topics, extreme weather, erosion, sea levels, wetlands.

BOOKS: (*indicates book/video/article available through Foothill Library)

*Pilkey, Orrin H., and Rob Young. The Rising Sea. Washington, D.C.: Island Press/‌Shearwater Books, 2009. Print. Foothill Call #: GC89 .P48 2009  “The question is no longer whether climate change is causing the oceans to swell, but by how much and how quickly. Pilkey and Young deftly guide readers through the science, explaining the facts and debunking the claims of industry-sponsored “skeptics.” They also explore the consequences for fish, wildlife—and people.” -- Publisher description.

*Pollack, Henry. A World Without Ice. New York: Avery, 2009. Print. Foothill Call #: GB2405 .P55 2009\t 
“A co-winner of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize offers a clear-eyed explanation of the planet’s imperiled ice. ”A World Without Ice“ answers the most urgent questions about this pending crisis, laying out the necessary steps for managing the unavoidable and avoiding the unmanageable.” -- Publisher description.

*Landers, Jay. “Climate Change Could Pose Major Risk to One-Third of U.S. Counties by 2050, Report Says.” Civil Engineering 80.10 (2010): 30-31. EBSCO Academic Search Premier. Web. 3 May 2011. <
>.   “Focuses on the report ‘Evaluating Sustainability of Projected Water Demands Under Future Climate Scenarios,’ prepared by Tetra Tech and released by the U.S. National Resources Defense Council.” -- Abstract.

The Changing Planet explores the impacts of climate change and rising sea levels. (6:21 min)

Acid Test:  The Global Challenge of Ocean Acidification.  This groundbreaking NRDC documentary explores the startling phenomenon of ocean acidification, which may soon challenge marine life on a scale not seen for tens of millions of years. The film, featuring Sigourney Weaver, originally aired on Discovery Planet Green. (21 min.)

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(Rainwater & Fog Harvesting • Gray Water Recycling • Desalination)

FogQuest: Sustainable Water Solutions.  A non-profit dedicated to planning and implementing water projects in developing countries using fog and rainfall collectors.

Food and Water Watch website.  Reviews desalination and whether it is a solution or problem.—for a sustainable water culture. A collaborative group of educators, designers, builders, and artists who educate and empower people to build sustainable water culture and infrastructure.

International Desalination Assn. The International Desalination Association, the leading global organization dedicated to desalination, desalination technology and water reuse.

BOOKS: (*indicates book/video/article available through Foothill Library)

National Research Council Committee on Advancing Desalination Technology. Desalination: A National Perspective. Washington, D.C.: National Academies Press, 2008. NetLibrary. Web. 3 May 2011. For info on access to Foothill’s eBooks, see  “Traditional sources of supply are increasingly expensive, unavailable, or controversial, but desalination technology offers the potential to substantially reduce water scarcity by converting the almost inexhaustible supply of seawater and the apparently vast quantities of brackish groundwater into new sources of freshwater.” -- Publisher description.


*Kowitt, Beth; Thai, Kim. "The Future of Water." Fortune 160.7 (2009): 111. MAS Ultra - School Edition. EBSCO. Web. 26 May 2011.  As the world's population grows, freshwater resources are getting increasingly scarce. That's driving a global boom in the business of desalination.

*Grillo, Jerry. "SALT and RAIN." Georgia Trend 26.3 (2010): 32. MasterFILE Premier. EBSCO. Web. 26 May 2011. The article discusses the issues and proposed solutions to the water supply crisis in Georgia. The author noted that the state has searched for solutions to address the water supply problem since 2004, after a five-year drought. In 2010, Georgia's state government has formulated a legislation that would establish an agreement with neighbor states, Alabama and Florida, for the use of Lake Lanier. Other options include the desalination project and the rainwater harvesting approach.

*Bouma, Jetske A., Trent W. Biggs, and Laurens M. Bouwer. "The downstream externalities of harvesting rainwater in semi-arid watersheds: An Indian case study." Agricultural Water Management 98.7 (2011): 1162-1170. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Web. 26 May 2011. This article assesses the downstream impacts of rainwater harvesting in a semi-arid basin in Southern India.


Anupam Mishra speaks on amazing feats of water harvesting, engineered centuries ago by the people of India’s Golden Desert—these structures are still in use today!  (17 min.)

Engineer Michael Pritchard gives a talk on his Lifesaver water-purification bottle, which could revolution water-delivery systems around the globe.  (9:29 min)

Peak Moment’s video on how to create your own graywater system at home (27:55 min)

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(California/U.S./World History of Water • Water Politics)

California State government site with info on the history of the California State Water Project.

History of the Clean Water Act in America:

Liquid Gold Exhibit / California’s Water: An exhibit by the Water Resources Center Archives.

World Savvy Monitor: Water Politics and Conflict Overview

BOOKS: (*indicates book/video/article available through Foothill Library)

*Hiltzik, Michael A. Colossus: Hoover Dam and the making of the American century. 1st. New York, NY: Free Press, 2010. Print. Embodied in the Hoover Dam's striking machine-age form is the fundamental transformation the Depression wrought in the national culture of America: the shift from the concept of the rugged individualism of the nineteenth century frontier days to the principle of shared enterprise and communal support that would build the America we know today.

Hundley, Norris, Jr. Water and the West: the Colorado River Compact and the Politics of Water in the American West. 2nd. ed. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2009. Print. “Back in print for the first time in over ten years, this classic account of the numerous struggles--national, state, and local--that have occurred over western American water rights since the late 1800s is thoroughly expanded and updated to trace the continuing battles raging over the West’s most valuable, and contentious, resource.” -- Publisher description.

*Lankford, Scott Tahoe beneath the Surface: The Hidden Stories of America’s Largest Mountain Lake. Berkeley: Heyday, 2010. Print. Written by a Foothill professor! Touches on history, literature, and the environment, all as it relates to Lake Tahoe.

Miller, Char. Fluid arguments: five centuries of western water conflict. Univ of Arizona Press, 2001. Print.  Sets contemporary and often bitter debates over water in their historical contexts by examining some of the most contentious issues that have confronted the region over five centuries.

*Outwater, Alice. Water: A Natural History. New York, NY: Perseus Books Group, 1996. Print. An innovative history of American water-ways describing the symbiosis between water, land, and the natural processes which keep water clean and have been impeded by contemporary engineering.

*Palumbi, Stephen R., and Carolyn Sotka. The Death and Life of Monterey Bay: A Story of Revival. Washington, D.C.: Island Press, 2011. Print. “Monterey began as a natural paradise, but became the poster child for industrial devastation in John Steinbeck’s Cannery Row,and is now one of the most celebrated shorelines in the world. ... How did it happen? The answer is deceptively simple: through the extraordinary acts of ordinary people.” -- Publisher description.

*Reisner, Marc. Cadillac Desert: The American West and Its Disappearing Water. New York: Viking, 1986. Print. Foothill Call #: HD1739 .A17 R45 1986.  A classic that will help you understand the history of water as a resource in California and the West.


*Agnew, John. "Waterpower: Politics and the Geography of Water Provision." Annals of the Association of American Geographers 101.3 (2011): 463-476. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Web. 26 May 2011.
  Access to potable water is frequently said to be the defining world crisis of the twenty-first century. The argument is usually framed in terms of either direct environmental constraints or various totalistic views of how 'the political' determines outcomes. There is little or no scope for the agency of practical politics.


Quest, a KQED Multimedia Series, explores the State of Thirst: California’s Water Future.  [See Educator Guide in this binder section which goes with this video.]  (27 min)

*Cadillac Desert. Reisner, Marc.  Jon Else. 1997. PBS Video. Videocassette. Available in the Foothill Media Center.

THIRST:  A piercing look at the global corporate drive to control and profit from our water—from bottles to tap.  Is water part of a shared "commons", a human right for all people? Or is it a commodity to be bought, sold, and traded in a global marketplace? THIRST tells the stories of communities in Bolivia, India, and the United States that are asking these fundamental questions, as water becomes the most valuable global resource of the 21st Century. A character-driven documentary with no narration, THIRST reveals how the debate over water rights between communities and corporations can serve as a catalyst for explosive and steadfast resistance to globalization.  (62 min.)

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