Protecting the Chicago River - Friends of The Chicago River

Why does the health of the Chicago River matter? Mark Hauser, the Ecology Outreach Manager from the Friends of the Chicago River, gives us context on how the entire ecosystem within Chicago is connected.

In this ReThinking H2O podcast, we learn about different Friends of The Chicago River initiatives that include the Litter Free Campaign, river shed restoration efforts and interaction with schools across the Chicagoland area. Mark promotes service learning across the community and gets kids to help with clean ups across the river.

For those of you who don't know, the Friends of the Chicago River is is the leading charity to support the health of the river since 1979 and has been working to improve the health of the Chicago River system for the benefit of people, plants and animals. By doing so, Friends has laid the foundation for the river to be a beautiful, continuous, and easily accessible corridor of open space in the Chicago region.

Friends of Chicago River Website:

Listen below on Soundcloud or iTunes!

Blue Mind - Wallace J Nichols

Do you use water on a daily basis? To shower, cook, clean?

If're a water person.

Have you ever thought about your relationships with water? Water defines us way more than you ever thought...In this epic podcast we discuss our #BlueMind with author Wallace J Nichols.

To learn more visit links below or follow at @WallaceJNichols @BlueMindWorks

What is Blue Mind?
"The Surprising Science That Shows How Being Near, In, On, or Under Water Can Make You Happier, Healthier, More Connected, and Better at What You Do."

Quotes about water:
“I feel I belong in the water—I feel we all belong in the water, I cease to be a sort of obsessed intellect and a shaky body, and I just become a porpoise.” ~ Dr. Oliver Sacks

"In this profound study, biologist and researcher Nichols shares the many ways in which water positively impacts not just our lives, but also our minds." ~ Publishers Weekly

"My grandfather would go there, and so shall we." ~ Celine Cousteau

Reversing The Chicago River - Great Lakes Water Wars

Our first book review of The Great Lakes Water Wars by Peter Annin.

In chapter 5 called "Reversing a River", we learn the story of how Chicago reverses the river, largely to benefit its growing population of more than 7 million people today .

We discuss the implications of water in Chicago and how this set a precedent of careless water diversion on the Great Lakes. This will get you rethinking H2O around water law suits, potential environmental destruction and waters wars.

To learn more about the Great Lakes Water Wars, please visit

Keep Elkhart Blue - Rethinking H2O Podcast

Join us in an insightful discussion with the president of Elkhart Lake Improvement Association (ELIA), John Schott. John shines some light into questions such as: What is the Elkhart Lake Improvement Association? What projects is ELIA actively involved in? How does ELIA actually help Keep Elkhart Blue?

We will learn about the threats of invasive species, agricultural run-off and boater safety. Then we will discuss how ELIA is working to install water treatment systems, prevent invasive weed growth and expand boater education programs.

To learn more, please visit

Village Drill - ReThinking H2O Podcast

The Village Drill is the most capable manual drill in the world. 

Engineered to last, the Village Drill was designed with simplicity, transportability, and durability as the guiding principles. With the ability to drill up to 270 feet, and then quickly disassemble and fit in the back of a small truck, the Village Drill was built to meet the needs of organizations doing the hard work of providing water for the nearly 1 billion people lacking simple access.

Rethinking H2O Podcast - Shore Buddies

Enjoy this discussion with Malte, founder of Shore Buddies and $1 For the Ocean.

Shore Buddies saves marine life and keeps plastics out of the Oceans. They provide educational context to children about the importance of a healthy ocean and reduce our one-time plastic consumption.

Shore-Buddies teaches us that consumers have the power to make sustainable decisions.

Learn the origins story of Shore-Buddies and join the discussion around rethinking our plastic consumption.

To learn more, visit

$1 for the Ocean is a unique, powerful network of businesses and nonprofit organizations, allowing consumers to vote ocean-friendly with their wallets. With every product or service purchase, participating businesses donate $1 to a partnering non-profit organization which is engaged in ocean protection.

How history shapes a water crisis

We often do not appreciate the value of water until the well goes dry.  Before our desires for middle class life (meat consumption, air conditioning, car ownership), the water problems were not as severe.  However due to climate change and growing populations, water supplies are being strained more than ever. 

These droughts are attributed to many factors, one no larger than city planning.  Many cities have mismanaged their water supplies due to lack of oversight and unsustainable desires to grow. 

Read this article to dive into the struggle seen in Bengaluru, India.

Droughts are shaped by each city’s development over time—and these recent shortages have shown just how shaky the infrastructure which supplies their water has become.

ReThinking H20 Podcast_Recovery on Water_Episode 13

Today on the show we have Jeannine Love, who is an active member of Recovery on Water. Recovery on Water is a rowing team that gives survivors of breast cancer the unique opportunity to interact with fellow survivors on the water and become active participants in their recovery. Jeannine walks us through her remarkable life story which involves many challenges including the loss of her husband and battling cancer. Jeannie tells us how her experiences with Recovery on Water helped her persevere through the difficult times and ultimately lead to a life of purpose.

ReThinking H20 Podcast_National Clean Water Collective_Episode 12

Today on the show we have Syrah Scott who is the founder of the National Clean Water collective. Syrah is an engineer by training who by fate, found her way in the world of water. After hearing news stories about the water crisis in Flint Michigan and seeing little action to solve the problem, she took matters into her own hands to help those in need. She founded the National Clean Water Collective that helps connect different players in the water space to help those that do not have access to safe water in America. To learn more about the organization please visit

Life in the Slums - What is a Slum and what can we do about it?

Did you know that over 1 billion people currently live in slums and this number is expected to grow to 2 billion by 2050?   This short video by Hugh Bonneville gives you a quick glimpse into life inside a slum in India.

What even is a slum you might ask?  A slum is a highly populated urban residential area consisting mostly of closely packed, decrepit housing units in a situation of deteriorated or incomplete infrastructure, inhabited primarily by impoverished persons.

Well what can we do about it?  Over the course of the next 6 months we will reveal new technology, partnerships and collaborations that will work to bring safety and opportunity to those living in slums.

ReThinking H20 Podcast : Miranda and Baptise Paul

Today on the show we have Miranda and Baptise Paul. Miranda and Paul are both authors by trade with a passion to educate and help make the world a better place. Miranda is a native of Green Bay that has always had a passion for water, writing a children’s book called Water is Water. Baptiste is a native of St Lucia that has a passion for water, writing a book called The Field. 
Together, they are working on a new book called “I am farmer”, that hopes to educate youth about the importance of farm culture within our present and future societies. To learn more please visit their websites at :

The Future of Water Innovation

Welcome to the Rethinking H20 podcast. Today on the show we have Newsha K. Ajami, who is the director of Urban Water Policy with Stanford University’s Water in the West program. Newsha is a thought leader in the water space with a decorated academic background and degrees from University of Arizona along with a PhD from University of Irvine. In this episode, Newsha provides valuable insight into three core topics. 

First - how cities can build resilient infrastructure through better planning and investment, 
Second - how policy and academia can help bring value to society
And Third – we dive into the future of water innovation.

You can learn more about Newsha here at…ewsha-ajami

Why the threat of Asian Carp is something we can no longer ignore

Welcome to the rethinking H20 podcast. Today on the show we have Sheyda Esnaashari. Sheyda leads public policy at the Alliance for the Great Lakes. Her main focus surrounds the issue of Asian carp threatening the Great Lakes of America. After spending time in Kenya on Lake Victoria and being from a Great Lake state, Sheyda is now dedicated to a mission of preserving the great lakes. In this episode Sheyda dives into some of the Great Lake water issues specific to Asian Carp. We will learn about the risks that Asian carp present to our water ways and what we can do to prevent these issues.

Water Problem in Shinyanga - Video

The walk for water carries serious ramifications for women and children.  Often women are exposed to animals, rape or unforeseen reasons that put them at grave danger.  Watch this video to learn about the serious problems that women in developing nations face on a daily basis.  Our first water treatment system will help to alleviate this problem, but there is so much more to do.

Water - Easy Ways to Save Water

Do you ever think about how many times you interact with water on a daily basis?  Or how much water goes into your morning routine when you shower, brush your teeth, make your coffee, cook your breakfast, commute to work….?

The answer is … A LOT.   It is hard to quantify our true water footprint but the average American uses around 100 Gallons Per Day.  However, it is not hard to make small changes in your daily life to make a large impact on our overall water footprint!  Here are some easy tips for you to consider as a #Wristsponsible user of water:

1)    Turn the sink off when you shave or brush your teeth!  If you leave the sink on the entire time, you can use over 5 Gallons of water.

2)    Don’t leave the fridge open!  Energy = Water.   It takes a lot of water to create the power we use to refrigerate our food, drive our cars, and run our toaster ovens.  When you save energy, you save water!

3)    Reconsider the amount of meat you consume!  Did you know it takes 1,800 gallons of water to make one pound of beef?  Meat carries an enormous water footprint.  Watch the VICE documentary to learn more about the water foot print behind meat.  Don’t eliminate your meat consumption but try exploring other forms of protein that require less water to produce, such as chicken or fish.

4)    Install low flow shower heads!  These appliances use less than 50% of water than legacy water appliances.  There are more upfront costs now, but you will save money and water in the future.  Look for water products that contain the Water Sense label.

5)    Fix leaks!  A leaking faucet or shower can leak over 3,000 gallons a year!  You could take 180 showers with that water!

6)    Calculate your own water foot print.  When you start to think about it, we use water in every aspect of our life…

It is hard to make sense of the grandiose World Water Crisis.  There is a lot of work that needs to be done to fix the water inequalities that exist, but we can all do our part.  If you can implement these small changes on a local level, you can help make a positive global impact.

Please reach out to me with any comments or questions.


Up Top Acres - Water, Food & the new Urban Landscape

A discussion between Up Top Acres CEO Kristof Grina and Kevin Sofen about the evolution of roof top farming.

Up Top Acres is reimagining what a farm looks like. We grow food on roofs - converting underutilized spaces into productive farmland and environmental safeguards. We create spaces for communities to interact with and learn about food, in order to establish agriculture as a fixture of city life.