A Fresno State group is hoping to make a difference throughout the campus with the help of a single book.
The Fresno State Water Cohort started reading the book “Water 4.0: The Past, Present and Future of the World’s Most Vital Resource” by David L. Sedlack during a “Reading About Water” book club meeting on Jan. 17.
Fred Nelson, a member of the water cohort and chair of the department of liberal studies, said that through the book club, the water cohort hopes to reach faculty from different departments and encourage them to incorporate water issues into their courses.
The book examines issues related to water consumption and advocates for reconstructing current water systems. Sedlack will visit Fresno State on April 12 to give a lecture.
“We really think that every student on campus should have some kind of a learning experience about water,” Nelson said. “That’s one of the things we’re trying to do by reaching out to different faculty.”
Andrew Jones, a professor in the department of sociology, said water issues are crucial to the Central Valley in particular.
“We use a lot of water compared to other arid cities within the Southwest,” Jones said. “If you look at us compared to places like Albuquerque, Las Vegas – we use about 40 percent more water than those cities do.”
Courtney Meinhold, who works for the California Water Institute and is a member of the water cohort, said water issues hold a special importance for the Central Valley.
“It’s really important for this community to have this engagement and involvement, especially because we feed most of the world,” Meinhold said.
Jones also said that residents of the Central Valley should consider changing their water usage habits.
“We’re living in an area that gets 11 inches of precipitation annually – and that’s going to change as climate change becomes more pronounced,” Jones said. “We really need to be rethinking our water consumption.”
He said people might not consider water issues in depth if they don’t face obstacles obtaining clean water.
“It comes out of the tap. People don’t think about the source of that water,” Jones said. “They don’t think about the flow of it as they’re letting it run while they’re, say, brushing their teeth.”
Nelson said he hopes for people to gain a deeper understanding of water issues through the book club.
“We want them to have an awareness of the complexity of water,” Nelson said. “You can’t reduce the solutions to problems about water to bumper stickers or to billboards. It really does take a lot of understanding of multiple perspectives.”
The book club meeting will be held every other Wednesday at the Henry Madden Library Room 2108.