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Sustainability & Renewable Energy

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S&RE Library Research - Water

When using the Library Search Engine (Primo), enter specific search terms to help narrow your focus. For example, searching for "Water Security" is more helpful than simply searching for "Water" and—depending on your particular topic"Low Impact Development" or "Desalination" might be even better.

Consider also filtering your search results by media type (e.g. books, streaming videos &c) or arranging them by most recent publication date. Newer is not always better, but more recent scholarship does have the benefit of hindsight. Finding current information is especially important for fast-changing fields and technologies, whether it be wastewater treatment or court rulings on pipelines and water rights.


If you find resources particularly helpful for your research interests, use the catalog entry to your advantage and search for other books or media with similar subject headings and keywords.

Example Topics in Water & Sustainability

Resources & Hydrology

  • Water Cycle

  • Precipitation

  • Evapotranspiration

  • Drainage Basin (or Watershed)

Water Supply

  • Groundwater

    • Aquifers & Aquitards

    • Recharge (or Deep Percolation)

    • Saltwater Intrusion

    • Natural Spring

  • Surface Water

  • Rainwater Harvesting

  • Rain Barrel & Rain Garden

  • Fog Collection

Water Infrastructure

  • Reservoir

  • Aqueduct

  • Well & Qanat

Stormwater & Surface Runoff

  • Low Impact Development (LID)

  • Sponge City

  • Xeriscaping

  • Deficit Irrigation (DI)

Water Security

  • Physical vs. Economic Water Scarcity

    • Peak Water

  • Water Footprint

    • Virtual Water Trade (or Embodied Water)

  • Water Wars

  • Human Right to Water & Sanitation

    • Water Is Life Movement

    • Blue Peace

Water Quality & Water Sampling

  • Chemical Analysis

    • pH Scale & Alkalinity

    • Stiff Diagram vs. Maucha Diagram

    • Turbidity

    • Total Dissolved Solids (TDS)

  • Water Quality Standards (WQS)

    • Clean Water Act (CWA)

    • Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA)

    • Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL)

World Oceans

  • Blue Carbon

  • Ocean Acidification

  • Ocean Hypoxia (or Deoxygenation)

  • Coral Bleaching

  • Microplastics

  • Eutrophication

    • Algal Superblooms

    • Red & Brown Tide

  • Overfishing & Bycatch

Water & Wastewater Treatment

  • Fluoridation

  • Ozonation

  • Dissolved Air Flotation (DAF)

  • Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation (UVGI)

  • Activated Carbon

  • Reverse Osmosis (RO)

  • Desalination

  • Distillation

  • Ultrapure Water (UPW)

  • Bioremediation

    • Constructed Wetlands

    • Folkewall

  • Greywater vs. Blackwater

    • Reclaimed Water