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Don’t Mess With the Data:
Virginia Burkett on Louisiana’s Vanishing Coastline

Welcome back to What About Water? with Jay Famiglietti! In the first episode of our fourth season, Jay sits down with renowned scientist and IPCC author, Virginia Burkett, to talk about technology, its pitfalls and its promises for a water-secure future. Burkett is the Chief Scientist for Climate and Land Use Change at the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), where she’s worked for over three decades. She is based in Louisiana and is an expert in global change and low-lying coastal zones.

We also get an update from Jay after a busy summer and a sneak peak at the season ahead. Here is The Deutsche Welle German Documentary, which now has nearly 4 million views in English alone, and the “Water” episode of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver that Jay mentions. If you have any ideas, questions or comments for our new ‘Ask Jay’ segment, email us at [email protected] and you might hear your question in a future episode.

Guest Bios

Virginia BurkettVirginia Burkett

Virginia Burkett is the Chief Scientist for Climate and Land Use Change at the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). She is Co-Chair of the U.S. Global Change Research Program and the Principal U.S. Alternate to the International Group on Earth Observations. Former positions at the USGS include Chief of the Wetlands Ecology Branch at the National Wetlands Research Center, Deputy Regional Chief Biologist and, more recently, Associate Director, Climate and Land Use Change Mission Area.

Prior to federal service, Burkett was Secretary/Director of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, where she had formerly served as Deputy Secretary/Director. She has also directed the Louisiana Coastal Zone Management Program and was the Assistant Director of the Louisiana Geological Survey at Louisiana State University. Burkett was a member of the Science and Engineering Board that helped produce Louisiana’s first Comprehensive Coastal Master Plan during 2010-2012.

Dr. Burkett has published extensively on the topics of global change and low-lying coastal zones. She was a Lead Author of the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Third, Fourth and Fifth Assessment Reports (2001, 2007, 2014) and the IPCC Technical Paper on Water (2008). She was a lead author of the First, Second, and Third National Climate Assessments (2001, 2009, 2014) produced by the United States Global Change Research Program. She has co-authored assessment reports for The Wildlife Society, the United Nations Convention on Biodiversity, the Everglades Task Force, the U.S. Department of Transportation and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration that address climate change impacts and potential adaptation strategies. Burkett has been appointed to over 70 Commissions, Committees, Science Panels and Boards during her career. She is a Senior Editor of the journal Regional Environmental Change and she serves on the Editorial Board of the journal Ethics in Science and Environmental Policy.

Burkett received her Bachelor and Master of Science Degrees at Northwestern State University of Louisiana and her doctoral degree in forestry from Stephen F Austin State University.

Charles Sutcliffe

Charles Sutcliffe is the Chief Resilience Officer for the Louisiana Governor’s Office of Coastal Activities. He coordinates closely with other state agencies, non-governmental organizations, and philanthropies as the State of Louisiana broadens its approach to managing the many implications of coastal change and positioning itself to capitalize on the opportunities that may arise. Charles is also one of three members of the Governor’s Office team working on the Climate Initiatives Task Force which will make recommendations for how Louisiana can reach net zero emissions by 2050.

His other responsibilities and areas of interest include serving as the lead staff member for the Governor’s Advisory Commission on Coastal Protection, Restoration and Conservation and its Diversion Sub-committee; and pursuing alternative delivery and alternative financing options applicable to the implementation of the Coastal Master Plan.

In his time at the Governor’s Office he also served as the project manager for a coast-wide economic evaluation of Louisiana’s working coast, a project that quantified the economic risks of the land loss crisis. He also contributes to the communications efforts of the Governor’s Executive Assistant for Coastal Activities and the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority.

Mr. Sutcliffe has a Master of Arts (M.A.) in Humanities and Social Thought from New York University, a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in History and a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Animal Sciences from Louisiana State University. Before coming to the Governor’s Office he worked as a science teacher in Baton Rouge and Pittsburgh; with the Allegheny County Department of Human Services; and with Louisiana State University’s Economics & Policy Research Group.

Photo Credit

Virginia Burkett – Brook Ford

Full Transcript

Virginia Burkett:
We were seeing our wetlands and our barrier islands disappear. What was going on? New Orleans is like a bowl now. A lot of it’s under the elevation of being sea level, because of that groundwater withdrawals coupled with the natural subsides. If you pull the water off of a wetland, it compacts and de-waters. And these sediments that are deep, miles deep, they compact and de-water. And as long as you’ve got that natural, fresh water and sediment replenishing it at the surface, you don’t have land loss.

Jay Famiglietti:
Welcome back to a new season of What About Water? This season, our theme is new technologies, water realities. And it’s really important for us to focus on this because, let’s face it, we need all the help we can get. We need a portfolio of approaches, and there’s so much that’s happening in the tech space. I’m seeing some of that. I’m involved in some of it. I’m keeping an eye on other aspects of it. And I really want to share that with you this season.

We’re also going to shake things up a bit this season. We’ll still release a new episode every two weeks, which by the way, is grueling. We’ll still interview top leaders in water issues, and you’ll meet people on the ground who make a real difference when it comes to our water.

And we’re going to introduce a new segment this season called…wait for it…. “Ask Jay.” Really looking forward to that. More on this just ahead, on What About Water?

Virginia Burkett is the chief scientist for climate and land use change at the U.S. Geological Survey. She’s an internationally recognized climate scientist. She’s a lead author on three assessment reports by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change — that’s the IPCC — including the 2007 report that won the Nobel Peace Prize.

Virginia Burkett also wrote the IPCC technical paper on water. She specializes in low lying coastal zones. It’s an honor to have you on the show today as our first guest of the season, Virginia.

Virginia Burkett:
Thank you, Jay. Good to be here. Appreciate it.

Jay Famiglietti:
So listen, Virginia, this is the first time we’ve had an IPCC author on What About Water. So thanks again for being here. You’ve written four IPCC reports, including the one that resulted in the Paris Climate Accords. At this point, do you think people are actually starting to listen to the science?

Virginia Burkett:
Yes. I’m not the only author, there were scientists from around the world that contributed to those reports. Those are the kind of reports that have such credibility that they can underpin policy at a national level and globally. 20 years ago, people, it was mostly about the physical climate science, it wasn’t about impacts and mitigation very much. I think it was more of a curiosity, and people were starting to perceive changes in the climate where they live.
And now we’ve seen this acceleration of the rate of change through time and sea level rise and warming, for example. And so that personal experience coupled with the science and the consensus, I think has driven people to actually respond to the science.

Jay Famiglietti:
I agree with you, Virginia, and especially on the point that people’s experiences now are starting to really accumulate. People might have still been skeptical, but now seeing the changing frequency of the intense storms, the prolonged droughts that are happening, say in the Southwestern US. I find in my own personal conversations, have really been converted. They are completely on board.

Virginia Burkett:
That’s particularly true in a coastal state where I live, for example. Or if you live on the Alaska shoreline or anywhere in Alaska, there are some places where, when we say unequivocal in the IPCC sense, you hear policy makers agreeing with that now.

Jay Famiglietti:
Yeah. So speaking of hitting home, I’m a native Rhode Islander. And there’s a certain beach that I used to go to called Matunuck Beach. And that one is frequently being hit really, really hard by climate change. So much so that a lot of erosion and people with coastal homes are having to move them back. So really hitting home for me, literally.
But you live in Louisiana. And over time you’ve watched your state go through some pretty horrific climate disasters. Can you take us back to your first job into the way water is swallowing your state’s coastline?

Virginia Burkett:
Well, I love that question. It reminds me of the way it all started for me professionally. I grew up in Biloxi, Mississippi, went to college in Louisiana and Mississippi and Texas.
And my first job out of college was with LSU Sea Grant. And we were seeing changes in the distribution of oysters, further and further inland. And everyone first said, “Oh, that’s just those oil and gas canals shooting that salt water up into the estuary.”
I started teasing apart those drivers of those changes in the oyster distribution. And that’s when I realized it was not just the oil and gas canals. They were a contributor, but it was the changing morphology or geomorphology of the coastal system. The widening of the passes, for example, and the frontal storms that would come through. Not just hurricanes, but others that would basically rearrange the coastal shoreline.
So my first experience was documenting an increase in the salinity of the bays and estuaries in Louisiana, and matching that where oysters actually grow naturally. So it was the Sea Grant publication, and literally it was almost 40 years ago.

Jay Famiglietti:
And then you’ve moved into this whole area of climate change and climate action. How did that transition happen? What motivated you?

Virginia Burkett:
The changes, the observed changes and trying to sort out what was driving them. We were seeing our wetlands and our barrier islands disappear. What was going on? And so it piqued my curiosity. What is driving this?
And the subsidence, for example. What was causing subsidence? Which is that compaction and de-watering of sediments caused by groundwater withdrawals, in New Orleans, for example. When they realized they were causing the land to sink, they stopped withdrawing the groundwater at those rates.
New Orleans is like a bowl now. A lot of it’s under the elevation of being sea level, because of that groundwater withdrawals, coupled with the natural subsidence. If you pull the water off of a wetland, it compacts and de-waters. And these sediments that are deep, miles deep, they compact and de-water.
And as long as you’ve got that natural fresh water and sediment replenishing it at the surface, you don’t have land loss. And so through time, we realized it’s acceleration of sea level rise, is accelerating the rate of wetland loss.

Jay Famiglietti:
How much land has been lost in the last few decades along the Louisiana coast?

Virginia Burkett:
We’ve lost about 40 square miles of marsh per year during several decades of time. And that’s about 80% of the nation’s annual coastal wetland loss. We’ve already lost land the size of the state of Delaware. So the map behind me here shows the rate of wetland loss or places, everything in red has turned to open water.

Jay Famiglietti:
Wow. I can see that map, but we will have to share it. In fact, I had been looking at that map over your shoulder and wondering what it is. Just to let our listeners know, there’s a fair amount of red on that map. It looks like maybe the lower, I don’t know, 20% of that map or something. But that’s pretty scary stuff. Wow.
What kind of sea level rise, do you know the numbers offhand for the Louisiana coast on an annual basis, what you’re experiencing?

Virginia Burkett:
Yeah. Yeah. It depends on where you are. But in the Delta plane around New Orleans, for example, you get outside of the levies and go into the marshes, the rate of subsidence there can be as high as a centimeter per year.

Jay Famiglietti:
Wow.

Virginia Burkett:
The land is sinking. So the tide gauges in Louisiana, it shows a sea level rise record much higher than the global average.

Jay Famiglietti:
So it’s an effective rate of sea level rise that’s greater than double the global average.

Virginia Burkett:
Yeah, more like three times.

Jay Famiglietti:
So tell us, how’s that impacting the state’s freshwater?

Virginia Burkett:
I’ll give you a perfect example. We have what we call ghost forest, spotted all along the Louisiana coast.

Jay Famiglietti:
Virginia, what do you mean by ghost forest?

Virginia Burkett:
It’s kind of a vernacular, I suppose, in South Louisiana. You’ll be going along the road and you see just dead trees everywhere. The stems of what was a formerly healthy Baldcypress swamp.
Or if you ride along a levy ridge, those ridges are sinking, salinity is increasing, the trees are dying. And so you just see dead forest. And so it’s like a sea of white bark, but there’s no bark. It’s the stem of what’s left of the trees. These dead and dying cypress trees and these old ancient oaks, that there’s nothing left but the skeleton of them now. And with the hurricanes coming, even those are being lost.

Jay Famiglietti:
These natural disasters in Louisiana have actually affected your own family.

Virginia Burkett:
Right. As I mentioned, I grew up in Biloxi. My parents lived a block off the water. And my home where, I grew up there. During Hurricane Katrina, it had about 10 foot of water in it. The cars floated around, the furniture floated down the hall.
And when I was a senior in high school, Hurricane Camille hit. And we always measure things in terms of AC and BC, before Camille or after Camille. Well now, Katrina’s kind of the benchmark. And overnight in Louisiana, during hurricanes Rita and Katrina, we lost 214 square miles of our coast.

Jay Famiglietti:
That’s insane. I think most people-

Virginia Burkett:
Overnight.

Jay Famiglietti:
Don’t appreciate that. I’ve seen a few articles in newspapers about the amount of loss, but I had no idea. So thank you for bringing all this to my attention.
You are bringing these issues and communities to the table, with the Louisiana Climate Action Plan. Can you tell us about that?

Virginia Burkett:
Sure. The governor of Louisiana established a Climate Initiatives Task Force a couple years ago. And in February of this year, we produced the Louisiana Climate Action Plan. I’m a non-voting member, I’m a scientist. But I co-chair it, the science advisory group of the task force.
And the task force basically assessed Louisiana’s greenhouse gas emissions. And then we had different sectors. We had transportation, agriculture, forestry, industry, waste management, all of these sectors. It was huge engagement of our citizens in Louisiana and our industry, particularly.
Because in Louisiana, we’re very unique. In the average across the United States, the average is about 17% of the greenhouse gas emissions come from industry. But in Louisiana, 66% of the state’s emissions come from the industrial sector. We have all that oil and gas. The river corridor is just important economically, and it produces a lot of greenhouse gas emissions.
And the transportation sector only produces 19% of our CO2 emissions. And electric power, 13%. So to achieve the net zero strategy by 2050, that task force had to focus largely on industry and those other sectors that I’ve mentioned.

Jay Famiglietti:
Those are great goals. Also, I had no idea about the distribution of emissions and how they differed so much in Louisiana from the rest of the country. So I’m curious, who’s paying for this? Who’s funding the Louisiana Climate Action Plan?

Virginia Burkett:
Well, there’s not a funding instrument for all of it together. So for the coastal restoration part of it, the blue carbon part of it, the state and local governments are implementing that.
For the transportation, the State Department of Transportation is looking at highway right of ways and how to reforest those areas, and increase their carbon offsets. And they’re looking at a fleet of electric vehicles for the state.
So there’s no money associated with the plan. It says basically how you can reach the net zero. But the mix of strategies, it depends upon what part of the economy they affect, as to who actually pays.
And there will have to be incentives that says in the plan and regulations perhaps. But I tell you, in a place like Louisiana where so much is at stake, there’s a lot of willing partners. And I think that the state is up to the challenge.

Jay Famiglietti:
So I’m wondering how these conversations with industry are going. Are they coming to the table? Are they mandated? Do they have to come to the table? How’s it moving forward?

Virginia Burkett:
There’s an industry sector that had representatives from the various chemical association, oil and gas, electric power. So those were all represented. It had a voice in the strategy. But it sounds like we got it all figured out. Well, their technology that would make hydrogen based fuels economically viable, that is really important.
So technology is important to the nation, but it’s particularly important in terms of helping these major emitters to get off of the fossil fuels and use renewable energy or low carbon power.

Jay Famiglietti:
So we are going to pivot to that technology in just a bit. But first, one of our producers got to speak with another Louisianan, Charles Sutcliffe, and he works in the governor’s office as the Chief Resilience Officer. And we’re going to play a clip from Charles.

Charles Sutcliffe:
In Louisiana, we’ve been focusing a lot on coastal impacts. We’re dealing with a land loss crisis. So sea level rise combined with subsidence means that communities are getting closer to the Gulf of Mexico, the Gulf is getting closer to them all the time. Hurricanes are getting more frequent, intense, dropping more rain.
Historically, all aggregated together, we lose a football field of land in Louisiana about every 90 minutes. Recently, Hurricane Ida kind of made that even worse. It’s a persistent, gradual land loss crisis that poses an existential threat to everything about our state.
In addition to managing these impacts from climate change, we’re also trying to play our part in mitigation. So reducing greenhouse gas emissions. And one of the big opportunities that we see is offshore wind in the Gulf of Mexico.
We’ve pioneered this offshore energy industry. We think there’s a lot of transferable skills in our workforce. We have the wind resource, and the science tells us that it’s there. And there’s been commercial interest so far in doing that. And so we see it as a win for the environment and a win for the economy if we can make that successful in Louisiana.

Jay Famiglietti:
So Virginia, what do you think about Charles’ comments about offshore wind technologies? You think it’ll be a difference maker?

Virginia Burkett:
Absolutely. In the action plan, offshore wind is mentioned in several places. And there is a leasing program right now underway to lease the offshore tracks for wind production, for wind turbines. So we see a response already of technology and making money off of offshore wind technology.

Jay Famiglietti:
So I understand you’re into negative emissions technologies. Can you tell us what those are?

Virginia Burkett:
Well, it’s a class of climate responses that basically run things in reverse. Instead of emitting, you’re extracting. And I heard the best analogy or statement by a fellow at a carbon conference recently. And he said, “I got it. Plants. That’s what they do.”
And so negative emissions, the technology includes forest restoration, terrestrial carbon removal, and sequestration. So land use and land management practices, such as changes in forest management or changes in agricultural practices that enhance carbon storage in soils for example.
Blue carbon is another one of those negative emission technologies that increases carbon stored in plants and sediments.

Jay Famiglietti:
So, what do you mean by blue carbon?

Virginia Burkett:
I’m talking about negative emissions and offsetting emissions through land use and land management practices that increase the carbon stored in mangroves, seagrass beds, wetlands. It’s proven technology. But then there are four others. Direct air capture, where you actually build a plant. And the air comes in and the CO2 is extracted and disposed of, or reused for something that wouldn’t harm the atmosphere.

Jay Famiglietti:
I just want to jump in right there and point to the parallel to a water treatment plant. The dirty water comes in, it gets cleaned up, it gets released into a river. So this sounds very similar.

Virginia Burkett:
Same principle. Just remove what you put in.
And another one is called bioenergy with carbon capture and sequestration. That’s when you use plant biomass basically to produce electricity, fuels, heat. And then you combine that with carbon capture of any CO2 that’s produced.
And then there’s carbon mineralization, where the CO2 is extracted and then injected into the subsurface.
And then finally, geological sequestration. Where you actually capture the CO2 at the point source, you capture it and then you inject it into the subsurface. And that is certainly feasible and is happening in other countries, particularly in Europe. And even in the United States, we have some plants that are extracting CO2 from power plants and injecting that CO2 deep into the subsurface, in safe reservoirs where they can be stored indefinitely.

Jay Famiglietti:
So I just want to drill down into, again, the links between carbon and water. And in this case, it seems to me that the carbon sequestration and groundwater challenges that we face will result in a kind of competition for porosity, the pore space underground-

Virginia Burkett:
Groundwater.

Jay Famiglietti:
For sequestration.

Virginia Burkett:
Concerns, yep.

Jay Famiglietti:
Right?

Virginia Burkett:
Yeah.

Jay Famiglietti:
I’d be really, I am concerned about that, when I think about it. And especially carbon sequestration and the safe reservoirs, some of those are aquifers. So yeah, it’s a real concern about how we allocate this, what’s going to become very precious subsurface porosity.

Virginia Burkett:
That came up directly in our climate action plan. We’ve got oil and gas production here. So between Texas and Louisiana, the geology would accommodate all of the U.S. emissions in the Gulf Coast.

Jay Famiglietti:
Wow.

Virginia Burkett:
For years.

Jay Famiglietti:
Yeah. Wow.

Virginia Burkett:
But the concerns expressed were about the groundwater, and the leakage and the damage to water resources. And so it did not emerge as one of the more favored technologies from the task force, and it was because of water.

Jay Famiglietti:
Good. Well, it’s good to have that cross discipline thinking about that. Because I think a lot of times with carbon, I’ve actually been writing things like, “Water is the new carbon,” from an accounting perspective. We’ve done all this great work on carbon and now it’s time to start thinking about water. And this is another topic that needs some further exploration.

Virginia Burkett:
Yeah. And coupling. You can’t tackle either one independently.

Jay Famiglietti:
Yeah. That’s right. We are no longer at the point where we can do these things independently.

Virginia Burkett:
Right.

Jay Famiglietti:
So you’ve seen some really interesting examples of how data and technology are helping developing countries conquer the impacts of climate change. What’s an example of a developing country where you’ve seen this kind of work?

Virginia Burkett:
One of my favorite examples, and it’s a collaborative between NASA, NOAA, USGS, USAID, and humanitarian organizations around the world. And we call it the Famine Early Warning System.
You may recall, when we were younger, much younger, there was a big famine in Ethiopia and a million plus people died. Remember the commercials and the alarm. The world did not respond quick enough to that famine.
And the USAID, the Congressional Black Caucus, and many others said, “We cannot have that happen again.”
So, USGS, we started working with USAID, the African bureau, and we were asked if there were remote sensing tools that could help them anticipate these humanitarian needs before a crisis occurred.
So we teamed up with NASA and NOAA, and even some universities, to develop what we call the Famine Early Warning Systems Network, FEWS NET. And we use satellite remote sensing, we use climate forecasting, land surface modeling capabilities, all to provide what we call agro-climatic evidence of food security or food insecurity. Using data and models, and particularly relying on that real time satellite rainfall estimates and moisture estimates and vegetation indices, we developed an index. And now we can send out an alert.
In Ethiopia, again, same country, but in 2015, there was an impending drought. And so this detection system that we’ve developed started sending up these alerts. And in the end, the FEWS NET people talked to the Ethiopian government and the aid agencies around the world, and Ethiopia sent out a call for aid.
And in the end, in 2016, 680,000 metric tons of food assistance went to 4 million people, and a famine was averted. Lives were saved. It’s a beautiful story of how science and data and people working together across these various platforms, can inform policy. Not prescribe policy, but inform it, and then the government responding.

Jay Famiglietti:
That is a tremendous success story, and I think a great place to wrap it up. Thanks so much for joining us today, Virginia.

Virginia Burkett:
My pleasure. It’s exciting to talk about these things and looking back at the progress that we’ve made. And showing how these systems are connected and our responses can affect one another, and the role of water in all of this. Of the major impacts and how climate affects people, infrastructure, and natural systems. Oftentimes it’s through water.

Jay Famiglietti:
Virginia Burkett is the chief scientist for climate and land use change at the U.S. Geological Survey.
It’s been a busy summer. I got to spend some time back at home in California visiting family, which was fantastic. This was very cool, one my favorite late night talk show hosts called me. Well, not the host, but the show, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. And I got to advise them on a water piece, which I thought was amazing. And we’ll have a link to that on our page, and hope you can go check that out.

I’ve been spending a lot of time off and on, this summer and last summer, with a couple of German filmmakers, a father and son team, Daniel and Walter Harrich. The documentary that they made aired on the German public television station, ARD, and now it’s out on YouTube. And at this point, millions of people have watched it. And yes, I’m in it and I’m super proud of it. You’ll find the links to both these things in our show notes.

Okay. So remember when I promised we’d have a new segment here on What About Water? I’m going to bring in our producer, Erin Stephens, to tell us a bit more about what we’re doing. Hi Erin.

Erin Stephens:
Hey Jay. How’s it going?

Jay Famiglietti:
It’s going great. What’s going on? What have we been dreaming up for our listeners?

Erin Stephens:
Well, Jay, over the past few years, we’ve had a ton of people reach out with ideas for things they want to hear, with questions for you, ideas for guests. We’ve gotten emails, they’ve slid into our DMs. And we wanted to give our audience a chance to bring those things to us and share that with all of our listeners.

Jay Famiglietti:
How exactly are we going to do that?

Erin Stephens:
Well, we’ve got this exciting new segment that we’re going to be test driving this season called “Ask Jay. “And people are going to have a chance to ask you-

Jay Famiglietti:
That’s awesome.

Erin Stephens:
Questions on water, things about climate change, innovation, technologies, your research. Pretty much anything.

Jay Famiglietti:
Really? Anything? Are you sure? I’m kind of uncomfortable if people asking me about, I don’t know, what time I walk my dog or what I’m having for breakfast. Or, I don’t know, what my favorite food is. Is that going to be fair game?

Erin Stephens:
Well, we’ll skip that for now. I think we’re going to focus mostly on water and curiosities people have about that. These are not like dating profile questions or anything. But more so what we’re trying to get from people is questions they have about water issues. Or say maybe they even heard something in an episode of ours and they wanted to follow up on it. Or we didn’t talk about something in an episode that they thought we should have talked about, and they wanted to ask us to expand a little more just because we didn’t have time.

Jay Famiglietti:
I think that sounds really cool. I’m really looking forward to it. How’s it going to work? How are people going to get in touch with us?

Erin Stephens:
So we’ve got this great email set up now. It’s [email protected] So just shoot us an email there and members of our team will be sifting through those to take a look at them.
And if you’re going to submit, maybe just include your first name and where you’re based. And keep listening to our episodes and you might hear your name and your question come through on the air.

Jay Famiglietti:
Well, I’m really looking forward to this. It sounds like it’s going to be a lot of fun and a nice new dimension to the podcast. Thanks so much, Erin, and we’ll be talking about this soon.

Erin Stephens:
Yeah, absolutely. I’m excited.

Jay Famiglietti:
Erin Stephens is one of our producers here at What About Water. Again, that email is [email protected]

To see the German water documentary I mentioned earlier, look for “Our Water” on YouTube, or just click the link in our show notes.

That’s also where you’ll find a link to that water episode of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.

Well, that’s it for this episode of What About Water. We record and produce this podcast on Treaty 6 territory, the homeland of First Nations and Métis people.

What about Water? is a collaboration between The Walrus Lab and the Global Institute for Water Security at the University of Saskatchewan.

This podcast is a production of Cascade Communications. Our audio engineer is Wayne Giesbrecht. Our producer is Erin Stephens. The crew at GIWS is Mark Ferguson, Shawn Ahmed, Fred Reibin, Andrea Rowe, and Jesse Witow. I’m Jay Famiglietti. Thanks for listening.