About

What About Water? (formerly known as Let’s Talk About Water) aims to empower people and communities to connect water science with the stories that bring about solutions, adaptation, and actions for the world’s water realities.

The initiative evolved from a collaboration between the Global Institute for Water Security at the University of Saskatchewan and Let’s Talk About Water.

Podcast | Film Festival | Film Prize |Youth Education

Communicating about climate change can be difficult. By leveraging the power of storytelling with water science, our What About Water? programs offer conversations, films, and digital resources that inspire action and make complex information more accessible. Get involved through our award-winning podcast, annual film festival, ‘Water Film Prize’ short film competition, and youth engagement programs.

What About Water Team

Jay Famiglietti

Jay Famiglietti

Host

Jay Famiglietti is a hydrologist, a professor and the Executive Director of the Global Institute for Water Security at the University of Saskatchewan, where he holds the Canada 150 Research Chair in Hydrology and Remote Sensing. Before moving to Saskatchewan, he served as the Senior Water Scientist at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology.

Mark Ferguson

Mark Ferguson

Director of Communications, GIWS

Mark Ferguson is a science communications professional specializing in water and climate research with long-term societal and environmental impact. He is the Director of Communications with the Global Institute for Water Security at the University of Saskatchewan. and holds degrees in journalism and arts with specialized training in science communication. He has worked previously at the Canadian Light Source, Aga Khan Foundation (Tajikistan), and as a journalist with newspapers, magazines, and radio stations across Canada, and is an award-winning photographer.

Erin Stephens

Erin Stephens

Associate Producer

Erin Stephens is a communications specialist based in Charleston, South Carolina. She is an Associate Producer for the What About Water? podcast and has coordinated the Water Film Prize for the past two seasons. Her editorial background fuels her passion for storytelling and developing effective communication strategies for mission-driven organizations. Erin received the 2018 Bynum G. Shaw Prize in Journalism from Wake Forest University, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and minors in Journalism and Entrepreneurship.

Shawn Ahmed

Shawn Ahmed

Digital Content Producer

Shawn Ahmed is a digital content producer with over 15 years of experience in the non-profit sector. Starting in his ethnic homeland of Bangladesh, Shawn began his career leveraging low-speed mobile data networks, social media, and a camera to raise awareness and raise funds for local NGOs and INGOs working to fight extreme poverty. Shawn and his work have been honoured by The World Economic ForumThe Webby Awards, Save the Children, and featured on CBCCNNNPRThe Globe & Mail, and The Toronto Star

Jesse Witow

Jesse Witow

Digital Services Coordinator, GIWS

Jesse is the Digital Services Coordinator for the Global Institute for Water Security, where he develops and implements digital communications initiatives on platforms such as web, mobile, and social media.  He also has a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy, meaning he likes to talk and debate about hypothetical scenarios. A lot.

Fred Reibin

Fred Reibin

Communications Coordinator, GIWS

Fred Reibin is an artist, social entrepreneur and communications specialist, focusing his art on rebuilding relationships with the environment, culture, health, and innate human potential. Fred holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Saskatchewan, majoring in Marketing.

Fred is currently the Communications Coordinator for GIWS, focusing on GIWS, GWF and What About Water.

Laura McFarlane

Laura McFarlane

Outreach Coordinator, GIWS

Laura McFarlan is the current Outreach Coordinator with the Global Institute for Water Security and Global Water Futures program at the University of Saskatchewan. Laura completed her Masters of Environment and Sustainability at the U of S, after a Bachelors of Environmental Studies Co-op at the University of Waterloo. Laura is a complete sucker for a good plain language infographic and thinks that we owe it to each other and the future to make science accessible and engaging. In her free time she likes to bike around town, or can be found planning her next camping trip. Sometimes both at the same time.

Jen Quesnel

Jen Quesnel

Cascade Communications

Jen Quesnel spent nearly 20 years as a TV and radio news reporter at Global Regina, before moving to CBC locations in Calgary, Quebec City, Regina and Saskatopon. She’s covered breaking news and produced current affairs involving court cases, politics, business, indigenous affairs, the environment, health care and education. An RTNDA award and Gemini award winner, she’s produced and hosted CBC programs including Saskatoon Morning, The Morning Edition, Bluesky and The Afternoon Edition.  Quesnel continues to fill in at CBC, while hosting the podcast Researchers Under the Scope. Today, she’s devoted to helping people tell their own stories through podcasts as a producer with Cascade Communications. 

Farha Akhtar

Farha Akhtar

Cascade Communications

Farha Akhtar is a former CBC Radio Producer with the award-winning show The Current in Toronto, Canada. Over the years she has worked as a freelance contributor for a variety of other CBC programs including The House and The Sunday Edition as well as serving as a freelance writer for Pacific Content.
Farha is a former contributor with the New School’s Feet in Two Worlds project which shares the stories percolating within New York’s immigrant communities. She continues to help amplify the diverse voices of people in various sectors and in different walks of life as a producer with Cascade Communications.

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