The Water Win-Win: Food and ecosystems in balance
Sandra Postel‘s new book is Replenish: The Virtuous Cycle of Water and Prosperity. It’s about the world water cycle, and about real solutions to the problem of providing water for people and food, and at the same time for nature and wildlife. And it’s also about building coalitions, relationships, and partnerships among many different water users — which, if we’re committed and lucky, just might prevent major water shortages and crises in the not-very-distant future.
Postel is author of several books on water; she’s director of the Global Water Policy Project, and co-founded Change The Course, a national water stewardship project that received the 2017 U.S. Water Prize for restoring water to rivers and wetlands. She’s been a freshwater fellow at National Geographic; she worked with the Worldwatch Institute; she’s was named one of the “Scientific American 50” for her contribution to science; she’s written for many publications like Science and Natural History; and her work formed the basis of a PBS documentary on water.
This program is produced in collaboration with the Quivira Coalition.
Photo credit: National Geographic Channels/Tyler Demogenes
With the best of intentions and technological innovation, we have broken the world’s water cycle. Now, says water expert Sandra Postel, we need to work with nature in order to restore it—if we want to survive, thrive, and, well, eat.
Dr. Emeran Mayer connects the human and soil microbiomes—both stretched to their limits and beyond by today’s diet, lifestyle, and industrial practices. And he tells us how we can eat and grow food in a way that heals the body, the economy, and the planet.
Reese Baker has a vision for greening urban landscapes—and he wants to make Santa Fe an example of how to do it, by catching rainwater from roofs, streets, and parking lots, and channeling it into gardens, trees, and soil.
Orchardist Gordon Tooley knows apple trees–and has been cultivating rare and heirloom varieties for three decades. But for him it’s as much about the landscape and lifestyle as about the product. We talk about living slowly, observing closely, and promoting healthy land, water, wildlife, and human communities.
New England is lush and green—and all kinds of creatures want to eat a farmer’s crops. Apple grower and cider maker Steve Wood talks about Integrated Pest Management and its challenges.
Seaweed has always been used for food, fertilizer, and medicine. But now, off the coast of Maine, over-harvesting threatens rockweed and the many species that depend on it.
Jesse Smith‘s work aims for the opposite of planned obsolescence—the goals at Jalama Canyon Ranch are resilience and perennial productivity, through restoration of ecosystems and a truly regenerative vision of agriculture.
Getting certified for grassfed meat can be challenging–but the American Grassfed Association supports producers in regenerative practices that are good for the earth, the farmer, and the eater.
Nicolette Hahn Niman was an environmental lawyer and vegetarian when she married a rancher—so she has a unique and broad-based perspective on agriculture. We discuss the new edition of her book, Defending Beef: The Ecological and Nutritional Case for Meat.
Native Americans used fire and other methods to cultivate food on the prairie. In the 20th century it was plowed under for endless rows of monocrops. Omar de Kok-Mercado is part of a team that is working to make prairie land ecologically–and economically–sustainable.