"What About Water" connects water science with the stories that bring about solutions, adaptations & actions for the world's water realities. Hosted by Jay Famiglietti and presented by the Global Institute for Water Security and The Walrus Lab. Formerly known as "Let's Talk About Water".
Replenishing a Broken Water Cycle
For centuries, we have built big dams, reservoirs, and levees. Humans have steered and shaped the flow of water to irrigate deserts, prevent floods and access groundwater.
But through big engineering, we’ve also created breaks in the natural flow of freshwater from source to sea.
The good news is: we can look back to nature for solutions.
In this episode we speak with Sandra Postel, one of the world’s leading freshwater experts, about how solutions rooted in nature - like cover cropping and river restoration - are key to mending the broken water cycle.
We also speak with Lisa Hollingsworth-Segedy, a Director of River Restoration for American Rivers, about a demolition project along the Susquehanna River in Pennsylvaniad.
She sees dam removal as a critical first step to river restoration. mending our planet's broken water cycle.
About our guests:
Sandra Postel is an American conservationist, a leading expert on international water issues, and Director of the Global Water Policy Project. She is the winner of the 2021 Stockholm Water Prize. During her years at the Worldwatch Institute in Washington, DC, she was early in adopting a multi-disciplinary approach to water, after having studied geology, political science, and environmental management.
In 1994 Postel founded the Global Water Policy Project. She is also the co-creator of the water stewardship initiative Change the Course, as well as a prolific writer and a sought-after communicator. Between 2009 and 2015, Postel served as Freshwater Fellow of the National Geographic Society.
Lisa joined American Rivers in 2008 to work with communities, individuals, government, and other non-profit organizations to facilitate the removal of dams that have outlived their useful life. She has been involved in the removal of nearly 100 obsolete dams.
Lisa is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners and brings more than three decades of experience in community and regional planning, environmental and resource protection planning, water resource management, project management, community economic revitalization, geology, and hydrogeology to her position.
Lisa was an associate producer for American Rivers’ documentary “Restoring America’s Rivers,” and has completed several demonstration projects using Large Wood Debris for river restoration and aquatic habitat in Pennsylvania.
Growing Food in Dry Times: Drought in the West
It’s no surprise growing food uses lots of water.
One cow needs anywhere from 3 to 30 L of water a day. It takes 3200 L of water to grow one pound of lentils.
In this episode we ask, what do we do when there's not enough water to feed our food?
Here in Canada, 2021 made history as prairie farmers experienced one of the worst droughts Western North America has seen in the last 1200 years. After three years of reduced precipitation, prolonged dry spells change everything from the crops we’re able to grow, right down to the cost of the food on our plates.
In this episode, we hear from Merle Massie and Reg Low -- Saskatchewan farmers who are experiencing the impact of drought and unpredictable precipitation firsthand.
Jay talks with Leon Kochian, Associate Director of the Global Institute for Food Security, about the 'root' of the problem. We look at how far science has come in breeding drought-resistant crops to help farmers adapt to both floods and water scarcity, and at where it's headed as we try to feed an ever-expanding human population.
On Thin Ice: Iqaluit’s Water Crisis
In this episode, we visit the city of Iqaluit in Canada’s northern territory of Nunavut, which is battling a water crisis on multiple fronts.
This month, residents were alerted not to drink or cook with water due to contamination. But for years, the city’s main water supply - Lake Geraldine - has experienced dropping levels. And overall, climate change is impacting everything from the city’s water supply, to thawing permafrost.
Janet Pitsiulaaq Brewster served as Deputy Mayor of Iqaluit, and was recently elected to her territory's legislature.
In this episode, recorded shortly after that alert was issued, she shares how the people of Iqaluit are coping with these water challenges and what they mean for the Inuit and their traditional way of life.
Climate Change Hope with Katharine Hayhoe
On this episode:
Katharine Hayhoe’s new book, Saving Us: A Climate Scientist’s Case for Hope and Healing in a Divided World, is a practical and compassionate guide for talking about climate change across differences.
Combining her research with thousands of conversations with everyday people, Hayhoe shows us how shared values can activate ordinary citizens to become climate change champions.
Hayhoe joins us for our first episode of the third season to discuss reframing the climate conversation and the foundation for real climate hope: action.
Season Three Trailer
Water is one of the main ways we experience the effects of a changing climate. As flooding, drought, and climate extremes grow widespread, the way we use every drop counts.
This season, join What About Water with host Jay Famiglietti, as we meet the people adapting to our planet's new water realities, with innovative ideas, strategies, and most importantly -- a sense of hope.
Whether it's traditional knowledge or cutting-edge technology, this season is all about the way humans adapt and dive deeper into water solutions for a thirsty planet.
Join our guest host, Professor Graham Strickert, as he hosts a panel of experts to discuss the pitfalls and problems of hydropower dams. Inspired by our screening of the award-winning Patagonia film "DamNation."
Interesting, fun, and relevant - Subscribed!
Just what I’ve been looking for - a fun podcast that keeps me informed of the most pressing issues of water and sustainability today, all in a format that fits into my morning routine.
The issues and guests featured on the show have all been interesting so far, with broad appeal whether from the perspective of an informed citizen or as someone interested in science and hydrology. The host keeps the discussion moving, with just enough humour to keep the discussion lively while staying on point.
This podcast always leaves me with something interesting to think about - definitely worth following.
Give me more!!
The perfect balance of entertaining and informative!! Love the "future jay” bits!