Water Talks podcast: Too Close for Comfort

Water Talks is my new podcast about water: too much, too little, too dirty and … too unequal. During the UN Water conference, the first one in 47 years, and the New York Water Week, I spoke to a diverse group of people in New York and the Netherlands – a diverse group of people in New York and the Netherlands – artists, activists, academics, engineers, policy makers – about how we can and should move forward in order to save ourselves and our planet from the water crisis.

In this first episode, called Too Close for Comfort, I speak with Henk Ovink, the Netherlands’ Special Envoy for International Water Affairs – nicknamed ‘the water guy’ by President Obama -, the Dutch King Willem Alexander, chief climate officer of New York Rohit Aggarwala, and David Erdman, head of the climate adaptation center at Pratt Institute.

As part of the UN conference, Pratt organized a workshop where I also spoke with three of the students: Anne Oerlemans, intern at Arcadis and student of International water management, Erik Paez from Mexico and Patrick Rutan who facilitated the design workshop by using three different kinds of artificial intelligence to reimagine communities in Brooklyn and Queens. When AI was asked ‘What would Manhattan look like if it had to retain its own water and grow its own food?’ part of the surprising answer was: a big lake on the Upper West Side and wheatfields in Haarlem.

Water Talks consists of 5 weekly thematic episodes, followed by 5 longer interviews with people I spoke with who had so much to tell that they deserved more airtime.