San Francisco Public Library

Water Related Non-Fiction Bibliography

Water - Classics

Beyond the Hundredth Meridian: John Wesley Powell and the Second Opening of the West
Stegner, Wallace

In this book Wallace Stegner relates the successes and frustrations of John Wesley Powell, (1834-1902), the ethnologist and geologist who explored the Colorado River, the Grand Canyon, and the homeland of Indian tribes of the American Southwest. Powell warned of the dangers economic exploitation would pose to the West and spent a good deal of his life fighting Washington politics in getting his message across.

B P8713s 1992
Cadillac Desert: The American West and Its Disappearing Water
Reisner, Marc P.

This classic is a history of the struggle to discover and control water in the American West. It is a tale of rivers diverted and damned, political corruption and intrigue, billion-dollar battles over water rights, and economic and ecological disaster.

333.91 R277c 1993
The Sea Around Us
Carson Rachel

Originally published in 1951, this book is one of the most successful books ever written about the natural world. Rachel Carson combined scientific insight with poetic prose. “This book was first place on The New York Times best-seller list for thirty-one consecutive weeks. It remained on the list for more than a year and a half and ultimately sold well over a million copies, has been translated into 28 languages, inspired an Academy Award-winning documentary, and won both the 1952 National Book Award and the John Burroughs Medal.”

551.46 C239s 2003
Silent Spring
Carson, Rachel

This environmental classic alerted the world to the dangers of the overuse of pesticides and other chemicals and prompted changes in the laws affecting our environment. "Silent Spring became a runaway bestseller, with international reverberations . . . [It is] well crafted, fearless and succinct . . . Even if she had not inspired a generation of activists, Carson would prevail as one of the greatest nature writers in American letters" (Peter Matthiessen, for Time’s 100 Most Influential People of the Century.)

632.9 C239s
The Water Hustlers
Boyle, Robert H., John Graves, and T.H. Watkins

Each of the authors describe a case study in water hustling - from west Texas to Los Angeles and New York City.

979.476 H1154c

Water - San Francisco and the Bay Area

LaBounty, Woody

Charming book with old postcard pictures, and text, of discarded horse drawn streetcars converted into beachside cottages on the empty ocean sand dunes of 1890's San Francisco.

979.461 L1141c
The Farallon Islands
White, Peter

A history of the Farallon Islands from the earliest recorded visits by Europeans to successive waves of settlers and entrepreneurs to the important present day seabird, seal, sea lion and shark sanctuary.

979.461 W585f
The Ferry Building: Witness to a Century of Change, 1898-1998
Olmstead, Nancy

This book is a photographic tribute to the Ferry Building's first hundred years. The author’s text expands on the photographs and history of this historic building.

979.461 OL45f
Hidden Treasures of San Francisco Bay
Anderson, Dennis E.

Photographer Dennis Anderson takes the reader on a photographic journey that explores the diversity of life in and around the San Francisco Bay.

508.3164 An2338h
The Islands of San Francisco Bay
Martin, James

This coffee table-sized book includes information about all the Islands of San Francisco Bay, in text and photos. It focuses on Island ecology: birds, animals, plants and island topography. A collection of over 400 images showing dramatic nature scenery with information on the many species of birds' migrations, nesting and history.

979.461 M3642i
Shanghaied in San Francisco
Pickelhaupt, Bill

The true story of shanghaiing - kidnapping men for a voyage at sea after they were slipped drugged liquor - and the politicians who let it happen in San Francisco for over sixty years. This book Includes victims' first-hand accounts.

979.461 P585s 2007
Vanished Waters: A History of San Francisco’s Mission Bay
Olmstead, Nancy

Vanished Waters is a history of the people who settled the San Francisco Bay and slowly changed the land by filling in the waters of the Mission Bay.

REF 979.461 OL45v

Water - California

The Battle over Hetch Hetchy: America’s Most Controversial Dam and the Birth of Modern Environmentalism
Righter, Robert W.

The author chronicles the transformation of Yosemite's Hetch Hetchy Valley from the pristine Sierra Nevada refuge to a modern-day reservoir. The book depicts the fight for a water supply for San Francisco and the many people involved - from naturalists to politicians - and follows the completion of the dam in 1934 to the 1998 movement to restore Hetch Hetchy to its original state.

363.6109 R4493b
Dam! Water, Power, Politics, and Preservation in Hetch Hetchy and Yosemite National Park
Simpson, John Warfield

This study of America's first environmental battle describes the controversies and intrigues that led to the construction of the Hetch Hetchy Dam and Reservoir within Yosemite National Park.

363.6109 Si585d


The End Of The Line: How Overfishing Is Changing The World And What We Eat
Clover, Charles

The author demonstrates how fishing with modern technology has put us close to destroying entire ocean ecosystems. According to one study, 90% of the large fish in the ocean in 1950 have disappeared. The author argues that we will soon run out of fish unless we take drastic measures now.

333.9561 C6259e 2008
The Fragile Edge: Diving and Other Adventures in the South Pacific
Whitty, Julia

The author paints a compelling and scientifically rich portrait of rich coral reefs off Rangiroa in French Polynesia.

578.7789 W6196f
Jacques Cousteau: the Sea King
Matsen, Bradford

This is a biography of the famous oceanographer Jacques Cousteau from his birth in 1911 throughout his life and career as an explorer, inventor, environmentalist and filmmaker.

B C836ma
Hyerdahl, Thor

In 1947, Thor Hyerdahl and five others journeyed on a raft in search of the path taken by people from South America to Polynesia in pre-Columbian times. The expedition proved that by using only the materials and technologies available to those people at the time, that this journey over 1,500 years ago was possible.

910.4 H514k 1973
Not a Drop to Drink: America’s Water Crisis (And What You Can Do)
Midkiff, Ken

The author, a former director of the Sierra Club's clean water campaign, believes that conservation is the most viable path to sustaining water supplies.

363.6109 M5847n
The Struggle for Water: Increasing Demands on a Vital Resource
edited by Fishbone, Aaron

The author assembles 26 articles and source documents on the issues and controversies over water ownership and freshwater privatization. Coverage includes an overview of the state of the world's freshwater, articles supporting and opposing privatization, cooperation and conflict over water resources, international trade in water, and the role of dams.

333.91 St897
The Whale Warriors: The Battle at the Bottom of the World to Save the Planet’s Largest Mammals
Heller, Peter

Adventure writer Peter Heller takes us on a journey with a crew on their mission to stop illegal Japanese whaling - hunting of endangered whales in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary, off the shores of Antarctica, in violation of several international laws. This book depicts the plight of the whales as being about the larger crisis of the oceans and the eleventh hour of life as we know it on Earth - scientists believe that the world's oceans are on the verge of total ecosystem collapse.

333.9595 H3677w
The World Is Blue: How Our Fate and the Ocean’s are One
Earle, Sylvia A.

Explorer-in-residence at the National Geographic Society, oceanographer Earle explains the importance of the earth's ocean to the health of all life. She explains how the ocean is suffering from biodiversity loss, drilling, mining, shipping, spilling, and changing climate and discusses opportunities for reversing this damage.

551.46 Ea75w
Eggers, Dave

“When Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans, Abdulrahman Zeitoun, a prosperous Syrian-American and father of four, chose to stay through the storm to protect his house and contracting business. In the days after, he traveled the flooded streets in a secondhand canoe, passing on supplies and helping those he could. But, on September 6, 2005, Zeitoun abruptly disappeared. Eggers’s riveting nonfiction book, three years in the making, explores Zeitoun’s roots in Syria, his marriage to Kathy—an American who converted to Islam—and their children, and the surreal atmosphere (in New Orleans and the United States generally) in which what happened to Abdulrahman Zeitoun became possible.

976.335 Eg33z