Podcast: Collaboration is key to solving freshwater issues says Michael Reuter

September 21, 2015

Michael Reuter has one heck of a title.

He’s Director of The Nature Conservancy’s Freshwater Team for North America. Given the issues of water quality and quantity facing our continent, this guy has one expansive job.

Reuter sat down with me for this 15th episode to talk about the complexities of the problems we face right now and what he thinks it will take to really get after them.

Like me, he’s from the Midwest.

“Growing up in the western part of Iowa, I grew up falling in love with a working landscape,” he said. “I loved hunting for catfish and playing in the river.”

He says a defining part of the heartland has always been the sense of community. It’s an element of home that will always ring true for me as well.

“There’s always a strong sense that we’re all in this together,” said Reuter.

He says we’re going to need more of that thinking operating on a much larger scale and growing at a much greater pace if we are going to solve the freshwater problems affecting us all. Perhaps it’s time we see watersheds as the new communities, with people within them working as neighbors.

In 2005, Michael helped start his own community of sorts: the Great Rivers Partnership. It’s an organization that brings together diverse stakeholders and best science to work toward sustainable management and development of the world’s most critical river systems. Through this effort, Michael has promoted comprehensive approaches to management of the Colorado and the Mississippi, in addition to numerous international basins as well.

Our conversation spans from protecting the environment to manage risk to where we can look for examples of replicable, collaborative freshwater solutions. And speaking of community, it was great to have him a part of freshwater Talk.

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#environmental podcast    #environmental protection    #freshwater Talk    #Great Rivers Partnership    #Iowa    #North America    #The Nature Conservancy    #water quality