In part due to unprecedented droughts, extreme flood events, and nationally reported water contamination events, citizens today have a tremendous interest in and concern for water. Indeed, individuals and watershed groups probably have more influence on water policy now than at any time in U.S. history. Until recently there has not been a source of detailed scientific information covering water resource concepts in a format that can be easily understood by the public or policy makers. A Forest Service scientist and her colleagues recognized that void and addressed it by publishing a series of journal-quality primer papers in the Journal of Contemporary Water Research & Education that were directed at people interested in water resources who did not have a strong science background. The papers were designed to provide a foundational understanding of hydrology, water resources, and watershed management to create a more informed public and electorate. The papers also provide figures and artwork that can be extracted and used by high school and college educators.