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Eight Books for World Water Day

World Water Day is held every year on March 22 to highlight the importance of freshwater and raise awareness for the 2.2 billion people living without access to safe water.

In honour of World Water Day, we are highlighting eight Alberta-published books that illustrate the importance of freshwater. Through works of fiction and non-fiction, these books provide a deeper understanding of this natural resource and some of the threats facing it.

You can learn more about World Water Day and how to contribute to advocacy efforts here.

By Robert William Sandford

Rain Comin’ Down: Memory and Identity in a Changed World is an intimate look at what drives Robert William Sandford’s obsession with the world’s most precious resource. Sandford, one of the world’s foremost authorities on the connections between water, landscape, and our changing climate, takes the reader back and forth in time to show how water links us to what the Earth was like in the past; what it is now; and how water will shape what it will be in the future.

Rain Comin’ Down: Water, Memory and Identity in a Changed World

Robert William Sandford (CA)

Published: Oct 22, 2019 by RMB | Rocky Mountain Books
ISBN: 9781771603171

By David W. Schindler and John R. Vallentyne

Cultural eutrophication by nutrients in sewage, fertilizers, and detergents is feeding massive algal blooms, choking out aquatic life and outpacing heavy metals, oil spills, and other toxins in the devastation wrought upon the world’s freshwaters. Renowned water scientists David W. Schindler and John R. Vallentyne share their combined eighty years of experience with the eutrophication problem to explain its history and offer real-world solutions for mitigating this catastrophe in the making.

The Algal Bowl: Overfertilization of the World’s Freshwaters and Estuaries

David W. Schindler (CA), John R. Vallentyne (CA)

Published: Sep 08, 2008 by Earthscan
ISBN: 9780888644848

By Hanneke Brooymans

With the release of Water in Canada: A Resource in Crisis in 2011, journalist Hanneke Brooymans exploded the myth that Canada is a water-rich nation and sounded the alarm on the coming water crisis. Providing an overview of the environmental, economic, and political challenges that have emerged over Canada’s freshwater supply, Water in Canada makes it crystal clear that the quantity and quality of our freshwater resources are diminishing at an alarming rate.

Water in Canada: A Resource in Crisis

Hanneke Brooymans

Published: Feb 01, 2011 by Lone Pine Publishing
ISBN: 9781926736044

By Shirlee Matheson and Earl Pollon

The two previous editions of This Was Our Valley covered the changes to the environment wrought by the W.A.C. Bennett Dam that went online in 1967 and the Peace Canyon dam that went online in 1980. This third revised edition covers the announcement of a third dam (the Site C Dam) to be built on the Peace River near Fort St. John and examines the arguments for and against the project.

This Was Our Valley

Shirlee Matheson (CA), Earl Pollon (CA)

Published: May 15, 2019 by Frontenac House Ltd.
ISBN: 9781927823774

Edited by Robert Boschman and Sonya L. Jakubec

Signs of Water: Community Perspectives on Water, Responsibility, and Hope brings together scholars and experts from five continents to illuminate the many issues facing the world’s most important resource. Using local experiences to tell a global story, this collection centres water as history, as politics, and as a human right.

Signs of Water: Community Perspectives on Water, Responsibility, and Hope

Published: Feb 15, 2022 by University of Calgary Press
ISBN: 9781773852348

Edited by Trisia Farrelly, Sy Taffel, and Ian Shaw

There is virtually nowhere on Earth today that remains untouched by plastic, and ecosystems are evolving to adapt to this new context. Bringing together scholars from multiple fields, Plastic Legacies: Pollution, Persistence, and Politics uses an interdisciplinary approach to address the urgent socio-ecological challenges brought about by plastic, including its impact on oceans and bodies of water.

Plastic Legacies: Pollution, Persistence, and Politics

Published: Jun 30, 2021 by Athabasca University Press
ISBN: 9781771993272

Edited by Jim Ellis

Beautifully illustrated with the work of Alberta artists, Water Rites: Reimaging Water in the West illuminates the diverse issues surrounding water in Alberta, including the right to access clean drinking water, the competing demands of the resource development industry and Indigenous communities, and the dwindling supply of freshwater. With a special focus on environmental and Indigenous issues, Water Rites explores how deeply water is tied to human life.

Water Rites: Reimagining Water in the West

Published: May 17, 2018 by University of Calgary Press
ISBN: 9781552389973

By Doreen Vanderstoop

Set in 2058, the novel Watershed presents a future vision of Alberta, where the glaciers are long gone, and water has become the scarcest, most precious, and expensive natural resource. While the vision it presents of what the human cost of climate change could look like is stark, Watershed features tenacious, resilient, inspiring people who aren’t going to give up without a fight, no matter what the circumstances they face.


Doreen Vanderstoop (CA)

Published: May 01, 2020 by Freehand Books
ISBN: 9781988298597