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 | Outreach | Films | 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 & Executive Director

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

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

Podcast Producer

Erin Stephens is an audio and content producer based in Charleston, South Carolina. She enjoys telling stories about sustainability and how climate change is affecting diverse communities. Before pursuing journalism full time, Erin developed integrated communications campaigns and organized events for the Office of Sustainability at Wake Forest University. Since then she has coordinated the WAW International Film Prize and Film Festival. She currently works as a Producer managing all guest outreach and pre-production for the WAW Podcast. Erin is a recipient of the annual Bynum G. Shaw Prize in Journalism from Wake Forest University.

Shawn Ahmed

Shawn Ahmed

Social Media Manager

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

Web Manager

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

Brand Manager

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.

Jen Quesnel

Jen Quesnel

Podcast Producer

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

Podcast Producer

Farha Akhtar is a former CBC Radio Producer with the award-winning show The Current in Toronto, CanadaOver the years she has worked as a freelance producer and contributor for a variety of other CBC programs including The House and The Sunday Edition.

Farha is a recipient of two environmental journalism awards: a 2022 Diversity Fellowship from the Society of Environmental Journalists (SEJ) and the Uproot Project, and a 2022 Grist Fellowship.

She is a graduate of Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly known as Ryerson) as well as an alum of the University of Regina School of Journalism.

Andrea Rowe

Andrea Rowe

EDI Advisor

Andrea Rowe is the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Advisor with What About Water? and the EDI Specialist at the Global Institute for Water Security (GIWS) and Global Water Futures (GWF). Andrea is passionate about inclusive innovation as a path to combating climate change and creating a more sustainable future for all. Andrea has published her work on gender equality and national innovation systems in the International Journal of Gender and Entrepreneurship. Andrea holds a Ph.D. in Comparative Public Policy from McMaster University and completed a Mitacs Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at the Ted Rogers School of Management at Ryerson University.

Wayne Giesbrecht

Wayne Giesbrecht

Audio Engineer

Wayne is an audio engineer, musician and instructor with more than four decades of experience. Trained in audio engineering, Wayne has served as the Senior Media Developer for the University of Saskatchewan’s Media Production Department since 1987. At the U of S, his work focuses on both producing and teaching video and audio production.

An accomplished recording artist, Wayne has worked in a variety of genres including First Nations drum music, rock, country, punk rock, and more recently an extensive catalog of classical, jazz and choral music.

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