Global Water is a report on a roundtable held in October 2010 by CRL and the Greater Western Library Alliance, on the subject of data and documentation on the supply, quality, and use of water in the Western United States and the developing world. The roundtable was the latest forum in a series sponsored by the CRL Global Resources program. At these gatherings, researchers, librarians, archivists, and publishers examine major fields of study (such as human rights, news publishing, international studies); emerging types of research being done in these fields; and new types of evidence and documentation that support such research.
Presenters at Global Water surveyed the range of types of water-related information, from real-time data on stream levels collected by the U.S. Geological Survey, to the Western Waters Digital Library and other online collections of historical documentation, to proprietary models of water-distribution systems created by private consulting firms like DHI Solutions.
Many of the presenters voiced the concern that at a time when water is becoming an ever-more precious commodity, critical water-related documentation remains either inaccessible or “siloed” in proprietary or poorly maintained digital collections. We at CRL and GWLA hope that this and the other findings of Global Water will be useful to libraries and archives as they shape their collecting and preservation agendas in this field.
Bernard F. Reilly, Jr.