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Watershed Moments Statewide Read

'Watershed Moments' Statewide Read is a statewide book club that invites the people of North Carolina to read selected works of literature as the jumping-off point for meaningful conversations among North Carolinians that can help us better understand important issues in our community and state.

This year’s selections explore our relationship with water and the environment culturally and historically. These stories about water highlight how humanities, literature, and journalism build understanding about significant issues in North Carolina.

2020-2021 Selections
Through April 2021, 'Watershed Moments' Statewide Read is featuring two books—one adult fiction novel, The Water Knife by Paolo Bacigalupi and one young adult fiction novel, Dry by Neal and Jarrod Schusterman. The Water Knife is a near-future, apocalyptic thriller about a catastrophic water shortage in the American Southwest that leaves Arizona, Nevada, and California locked in an intense fight for what little water supply remains. Dry also examines drought, climate change, and natural disasters when the taps literally run dry in California, forcing five young adults to make impossible choices to survive. 

Macon County Public Library and Jackson County Pulic Library have a limited number of copies of these books to distribute. Please contact your library to inquire about availability or for assistance with locating library copies to check out. 

Join Us for Virtual Live Monthly Events Featuring Special Guests and Opportunities to Discuss Dry and The Water Knife

  • November 17, 2020: 'Climate Fiction: Where Science and Stories Meet' 
    Join us as we kick off the Statewide Read with a panel discussion on the science behind science fiction featuring Dr. Deborah Thomas and Dr. Jack Scheff of UNC-Charlotte and journalist and author Jacqui Castle in conversation about the themes of natural disasters, climate change, and the water supply as presented in Dry. The panel will be moderated by North Carolina Humanities Council Trustee, Ed Sheary.  Register Here 
  • December 9, 2020: Breakout Book Discussion of Dry
    Join us as we break out into small groups to discuss Dry.
  • January 19, 2021: Panel Discussion of The Water Knife
    Join us for a panel discussion with special guests who will examine themes and topics found in The Water Knife.  
  • February 16, 2021Breakout Book Discussion of The Water Knife
    Join us as we break out into small groups to discuss The Water Knife
  • March 16, 2021Panel Discussion about Environmental Journalism and Disaster Reporting
    Join us for a panel discussion with special guests who will examine and discuss how real life journalists report about disasters and the environment in North Carolina.    
  • April 22, 2021: Statewide Read Finale 
    Join us for a conversation with the authors as we celebrate and reflect upon the North Carolina Humanities Council's Statewide Read
You can visit for more information about online events, including registration information.
Monday, November 2, 2020 - 10:00am to Thursday, April 22, 2021 - 9:00pm


Online - At Your Computer

Related Featured Media

Water/Ways has been made possible in Macon County by the North Carolina Humanities Council.

Water/Ways is part of Museum on Main Street, a collaboration between the Smithsonian Institution and State Humanities Councils nationwide. Support for Museum on Main Street has been provided by the United States Congress.

Water/Ways was adapted from an exhibition organized by the American Museum of Natural History, New York (, and the Science Museum of Minnesota, St. Paul (, in collaboration with Great Lakes Science Center, Cleveland; The Field Museum, Chicago; Instituto Sangari, Sao Paulo, Brazil; National Museum of Australia, Canberra; Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, Canada; San Diego Natural History Museum; and Science Centre Singapore with PUB Singapore.