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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 to nature for solutions to fix it.

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 dam removal as a critical first step to river restoration.

Guest Bios

Sandra Postel

Sandra Postel is an American conservationist, a leading expert on international water issues, and Director of the Global Water Policy Project. 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 Hollingsworth-Segedy

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 more than 75 obsolete dams in Pennsylvania. 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.

Further Reading

2021 Water Prize Laureate Press Release – Stockholm International Water Institute Replenish: The Virtuous Cycle of Water and Prosperity – Book by Sandra Postel American Rivers



@siwi_water – Stockholm International Water Institute

@AmericanRivers – American Rivers

@InsideNatGeo – National Geographic Society


@AmericanRivers – American Rivers

@InsideNatGeo – National Geographic Society