Water Resources

October 10th, 2008

For the first time in nearly a hundred years, our water resources, both at home and abroad, are up for grabs. Many are suggesting the demand for water resources is becoming the 21st Century’s quest for fossil fuels. We’ll discuss not only the quality of our drinking water, but who owns it and what they are doing with it. Find out who’s trying to control our water, why this is a concern, and what you can do about it.

Listen to the Full Episode | Download MP3

Part 1: Interview with Alan Snitow, Co-Producer and Co-Author, Thirst |
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Alan Snitow is a filmmaker, author and journalist, whose interest in water rights and water resources began while working in California’s Central Valley picking raisins. Along with his partner Deborah Kaufman, he’s produced the award-winning films “Thirst”, “Secrets of Silicon Valley”, and “Blacks and Jews.” Early in his career, he spent eight years as the News Director for the renowned Bay Area community radio station, KPFA-FM, where he was awarded the Best Newscast Award from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. He has also spent 12 years as a news producer at KTVU-TV. He is currently a Board member of the Film Arts Foundation and a member of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists.

Part 2: Interview with Sam Finkelstein, Great Lakes Organizer, Food & Water Watch |
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Food and Water Watch is a Washington DC-based, non-governmental organization working to stop water privatization and to reform the factory farm and agribusiness industries. They lobby to help municipal water supplies avoid degradation due to a lack of funding, while countering corporations efforts to take control of public water sources.

Along with an international coalition of advocates for water rights, Food and Water watched helped push for the Great Lakes Compact,  which recently passed the Congress and was signed by President Bush. They have also worked on a local level, such as when, along with community groups, they successfully returned Stockton California’s water supply to public control.

Part 3: Interview with Stephen Estes-Smargiassi, Director of Planning, MWRA |
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When you think about your tap water as a commodity, you might notice that it is delivered and picked up from your house, every day, at a relatively tiny cost.  But you might not realize there is a vast networks of pipes, reservoirs, people and testing that goes in to ensuring that your tap water is safe, reliable and tasty.

As director of planning for the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority, Stephen Estes-Smargiassi has to ensure the safety and satisfaction of millions of customers.  Unlike other businesses, there’s no room for error, and unlike corportations who make money off bottled water, there’s no effort to maximize the profit margin.  But consumers must realize that water supplies need constant upkeep to fight against disrepair, because if they are allowed to degrade, the public health of whole metropolitan areas will be threatened.

Cool Water – Sons of the Pioneers
Cool, Clear Water – Bonnie Raitt

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