Podcast: Best of 2016

December 13, 2016

This year, our freshwater Talk podcast broke 23,000 downloads and featured some of our biggest names yet. Our best conversations have been stitched together for you to catch up on and enjoy. Check out a sampling of our favorite conversations below or listen to the whole conversation during holiday errands above.


Yvon Chouinard: Founder of Patagonia

Q: Tell me about Patagonia Provisions. Why did you start selling food?

A: We need a real revolution, and I think the only one that we’re really likely to have is in agriculture.

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Robert Glennon: Nation’s preeminent water law and policy expert

Q: How do we get to those near term solutions while we are still building toward what we think will be a water constrained world going forward? How do we begin to wrestle with that?

A: I did a report last year with an economist and a lawyer as co-authors for the Hamilton Project at the Brookings Institution, and it’s titled Shopping for Water. What we argue in Shopping for Water is that we have to build more resiliency by developing market-based institutions that allow for nimbly moving pieces of water around as needed. Let’s take a page out of the handbook or playbook of the investment banking community, or stock exchanges, or insurance companies. Let’s build some strategies that create more resilience for water users.

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Patricia Mulroy: Former Las Vegas water czar

Q: You’ve said that we identify ourselves as citizens of a nation, a state, a city, but we don’t really identify ourselves as citizens of a watershed. As our water issues become more prolonged, I wonder, do you see that changing over time?

A: Well I hope so! Because especially on rivers like the Colorado River, it’s going to be very difficult to forge a pathway forward unless a larger sense of community and interconnection is created and those who take water from the system stop defining it as their right, but also view the other end of that spectrum, which is that it comes with responsibilities. The only logical way to avoid drought disasters is to anticipate them, expect them to happen, and when you see conditions start migrating in that direction, take some steps early on that prevent systems like the Colorado River from crashing.

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Sandra Postel: Director of the Global Water Policy Project

Q: How does somebody who runs the Global Water Policy Project not get overwhelmed by the vastness and complexity of water?

A: Well, it is easy to get overwhelmed because the challenge is so big and very complex. But, I like to remain optimistic about things. I see really inspiring things happening around the world that let me know we can do this if we put our minds to it. The pieces are out there. If we can bring them together and grow those kinds of creative solutions, I think we can establish a harmony with the natural world. Right now, we’re not headed in that direction, but the pieces are there. That keeps me getting up in the morning and doing the work I do and feeling genuinely optimistic that we can do this if we put our minds to it.

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#2016    #best of 2016    #podcast    #year in review