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Environment / Sustainability

Water issues in the Western U.S.

July 12, 2010

A partnership of five academic research libraries led by Colorado State University and including Brigham Young University, University of California-Berkeley, University of Utah, and Washington State University, has just concluded a three-year project, "The Foundations of Western Water Policy," funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, or NEH.

Pressures on fragile water supply will only increase

Arrowrock Dam on the Boise River in Idaho.

The purpose of the project was to add content to Western Waters Digital Library, a website that provides free public access to information resources regarding water issues in the Western United States.

“Water concerns have dominated the Western states for over a century, and as populations increase and we face the uncertain outcomes of climate change, pressures on the West’s fragile water supply will only increase,” said Kenning Arlitsch, associate director for Information Technology Services at the University of Utah, Marriott Library.

“The WWDL provides data and information resources that can guide future planning and policy.”

Guide future planning and policy

These resources, which cover a wide range of topics and include items such as government reports, legal transcripts, personal papers, photographs and audio/visual materials, are held by a geographically dispersed partnership of major Western universities.

WWDL began as a collaborative regional partnership undertaken by 12 academic research libraries from eight Western states under auspice of the Greater Western Library Alliance. Initial funding for WWDL was provided by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Water-related materials from 25 institutions

Since its inception in 2004, WWDL has expanded to include water-related materials for 25 archival holding institutions including:

  • Arizona State University
  • Brigham Young University
  • California Institute of Technology
  • Claremont Colleges
  • Colorado State University
  • Humboldt State University
  • Iowa State University
  • Northern State University
  • Oregon Institute of Technology
  • Oregon State University
  • Texas A&M University
  • University of Arizona
  • University of California-Berkeley
  • University of Idaho
  • University of Hawai'i-Manoa
  • University of Nebraska-Lincoln
  • University of Nevada-Las Vegas
  • University of New Mexico
  • University of Oregon
  • University of the Pacific
  • University of Texas-Austin
  • University of Utah
  • Utah State University
  • University of Washington
  • Washington State University

For more information about WWDL or to access its collections, go to www.westernwaters.org. Institutions interested in contributing water-related materials to WWDL should contact James Dildine, Digital Collections Program officer for GWLA, at jim@gwla.org.


Contact: Jennifer Dimas
E-mail: Jennifer.Dimas@colostate.edu
Phone: (970) 491-1543