This listening list on WATER was curated by the Cape Town chapter of Podcast Brunch Club.
Water is something that most of us take for granted in our day-to-day lives – open a tap, and it’s available, clean and safe. But for many cities, water is fast becoming a precious and dwindling resource – the most recent case being that of Cape Town, currently suffering the effects of the worst drought in a century. Water security is a global issue. Bottled water might be a solution to some of these issues – but it might also be adding to problems in areas with poor access.
Podcast Playlist on Water
Today Explained – Countdown to Day Zero
(Apple Podcasts | Google Play // 20 minutes, February 2018)
Cape Town is just a few months away from being the first major city to shut off its taps in the history of the modern world. Day Zero – the day Capetonians in South Africa will need to line up at water distribution points for daily water rations – is currently scheduled for July 9th*. Reporter Kristen van Schie tells Sean Rameswaram how the three-year drought is drastically changing life for millions of Capetonians. Plus three tips to ward off a water crisis in your own city from hydrologist Peter Gleick.
*Note: This is an ever-changing picture as water consumption fluctuates, but at the time of writing, the city’s leaders have just announced that Day Zero has hopefully been staved off in 2018 thanks to the efforts of residents, agriculture and business.
Reveal – Do Not Drink: The Water Crisis in Flint, Michigan
(Apple Podcasts | Google Play // 54 minutes, January 2016)
The economically depressed city of Flint, Michigan, is making headlines because there’s something in its water that shouldn’t be there. You may have heard about the problems in Flint: about how the tap water can be brownish, stinky, funny-tasting. After denying there was a problem for more than a year, state and city officials finally admitted it – there was too much lead in the water. On this hour of Reveal, you’re going to hear the whole story of how people in Flint went from trusting their tap water to fearing it. And thanks to Michigan Radio’s Lindsey Smith, who produced an incredible documentary called “Not Safe to Drink,” we dive right in.
BBC World Service The Food Chain – Bottled Water: Do We Really Need it?
(Apple Podcasts // 26 minutes, April 2016)
It has been described as the ultimate marketing trick, but the allure of bottled water is something more and more people are swallowing. With global sales set to overtake those of soda, The Food Chain asks why so many of us are paying for something we could easily get for free.
Twenty Thousand Hertz – 20,000 dBS Under the Sea
(Apple Podcasts | Google Play // 22 minutes, July 2017)
71% of the Earth is covered by water. And most of us imagine it to be a serene, almost silent world. But why should we have all the fun up here? Discover what sound is like just below the surface and all the way down to the ocean’s depths. And see how mankind might be making it unpleasant for everyone and everything that calls the oceans home. Featuring underwater acoustician Al Jones, Professor John Hildebrand from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and Christophe Haubursin from Vox.com on special assignment.
- Map: The water map of Cape Town showing usage by address (zoom in to street level)
- Video: Kitty Phetla of the Johannesburg ballet company performs a rain dance for the drought stricken Western Cape in the dry bed of Theewaterskloof Dam, one of Cape Town’s main sources of water
Conversation Starters about the Water Podcast Playlist
- Have you ever had to do without easy access to water?
- What cultural and societal impact do you think lack of access to water could have in today’s society?
- In the case of Cape Town, those in wealthier areas seem to have been less affected than those less affluent communities. How could this be rectified?
- There are some reports in the real estate sector that water issues in Cape Town will start affecting property sales. Would water security be a deciding factor for you when considering where to live?
- What water saving measures are you implementing in your home, if any? What measures could you put in place to reduce your reliance on your tap water?
- Where governments aren’t able to provide safe clean water or meet demand, what is the role for the private sector, such as water bottling companies?
DJ RuggedAngel’s Music Playlist
As usual, I’m thrilled to include a music break from your podcast listening! Our very own DJ, DJ RuggedAngel, has put together this music playlist for us on the theme of WATER. Enjoy!