Center for Educational Excellence

Drop Shadow

USD Just Read! 2015-2016

USD Just Read! Encourages literacy and deep dialogue on social themes presented through outstanding literature. The program promotes active learning and reading not only within the USD community but within the San Diego community at large. During the 2015-2016 academic year, the book selection will be Bottled and Sold, written by Peter H. Gleick. Various CEE programs will be offered this fall, including two on-campus book discussions, a faculty led panel discussion, and related films.

Please contact us if you are interested in possible programming, course and syllabus integration, or any other collaborative projects for next year.

Book Selection

USD Just Read Book Cover


     Bottled and Sold shows how water went from being a free natural resource to one of the most successful commercial products of the last one hundred years—and why we are poorer for it. It’s a big story and water is big business. Every second of every day in the United States, a thousand people buy a plastic bottle of water, and every second of every day a thousand more throw one of those bottles away. That adds up to more than thirty billion bottles a year and tens of billions of dollars of sales.

     Are there legitimate reasons to buy all those bottles? With a scientist’s eye and a natural storyteller’s wit, Gleick investigates whether industry claims about the relative safety, convenience, and taste of bottled versus tap hold water. And he exposes the true reasons we’ve turned to the bottle, from fearmongering by business interests and our own vanity to the breakdown of public systems and global inequities.
      "Designer" H2O may be laughable, but the debate over commodifying water is deadly serious. It comes down to society’s choices about human rights, the role of government and free markets, the importance of being "green," and fundamental values. Gleick gets to the heart of the bottled water craze, exploring what it means for us to bottle and sell our most basic necessity.

About the Author

     Dr. Peter Gleick is renowned the world over as a leading expert, innovator, and communicator on water and climate issues. He co-founded and leads the Pacific Institute in Oakland, celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2012 as one of the most innovative, independent non-governmental organizations in the fields of water and economic and environmental justice and sustainability.

     Dr. Gleick’s work has redefined water from the realm of engineers to the world of social justice, sustainability, human rights, and integrated thinking. His influence on the field of water has been long and deep: he developed the first analysis of climate change impacts on water resources, the earliest comprehensive work on water and conflict, and defined basic human needs for water and the human right to water – work that has been used by the UN and in human rights court cases. He pioneered the concept of the “soft path for water,” developed the idea of “peak water,” and has written about the need for a “local water movement.”

     Dr. Gleick received the prestigious MacArthur “genius” Fellowship and was named “a visionary on the environment” by the BBC. He was elected both an Academician of the International Water Academy, in Oslo, Norway and a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. Wired Magazine featured Dr. Gleick as “one of 15 people the next President should listen to.” He received his B.S. from Yale University and an M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Gleick serves on the boards of numerous journals and organizations, and is the author of many scientific papers and nine books, including the influential series The World’s Water and Bottled and Sold: The Story Behind Our Obsession with Bottled Water, as well as the 2012 release A Twenty-First Century U.S. Water Policy.

Peter H. Gleick

Register for all other events online, or call (619) 260-7402, or email

Here are Some of the Key Collaborators for Events Related to USD Just Read!, Bottled and Sold

Center for Educational Excellence, School of Business Administration, College of Arts and Sciences, Student Affairs, Provost Office, Center for Community Service Learning, Center for Peace & Commerce, Office of Sustainability, Changemaker HUB, Center for Inclusion & Diversity, University Communications, Media and Digital Communications, Copley Library, Human Resources, Outdoor Adventures, Ahlers Center for International Business, University Ministry, Associated Students, Office of Parent Relations, Office of Alumni Relations, Living Learning Communities: Honors, Change, Faith & Reason.

Bottled and Sold (2015) Flyers

2015-2016 Bottled and Sold Book Announcement