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🗣️ "Ethics and the Future of Water (Part 2)"

Water Foresight Podcast

Photo by Nathan Dumlao / Unsplash

Host: Matthew Klein
Guest: Dr. David Groenfeldt | Director | Water-Culture Institute
Category: 🗣️ Opinion

Podcast’s Essential Bites:

[2:05] “Detroit and other cities that were routinely turning people's water off, I think they're not doing that anymore. […] There's been some reversal of laws of policies that have ended it in some cities. So we're no longer in violation of the UN Human Rights agreements. But for me what ethics is, it's the triple bottom line. […] So […] economic water ethics, like don't waste water. […] And social water ethics, the right to water. Environmental ethics […] and then there are cultural ethics of water, which is […] you have a right to have that river exist, because that's what gives your life and your tribal identity meaning […]. And that's where we need to get to.”

[3:42] “The other piece of ethics to me, that goes beyond the triple bottom line […] is governance. Who makes decisions about how water is used or about what kind of wastewater treatment plant we're going to build? […] Who gets to weigh in on that? And why is that important? It's important because different voices need to be represented in decisions about how water is used. Water is so important that we need to treat it ethically. […] Those sensitive, profound decisions require an ethics, awareness and ethics perspective to really weigh in and to help the technical people make a determination that's actually in the best interest of society.

[7:06] “I think […] we're going to shift to a more environmental take on water. […] We live in a post natural world. That's the direction that the oil companies are taking us by sending misinformation about climate change and insisting on continued development of oil fields. Until […] the earth heats up so much that nobody can move here. […] I think we're going to face that […] kind of polarization to some extent, have the full steam ahead, […] just keep the accelerator going versus […] let's relax our pressure on nature. The conservation biologists are saying […] that we should have half of our lands and half of our waters allocated to just natural functions.”

[19:14] “I'm seeing the emergence of ecological sciences and traditional sciences also, but with a much stronger ecological perspective of the relationships between different parts of the living community of different parts of nature. And indigenous voices become stronger as they become more educated both in their traditions and in […] graduate degrees from the best schools in the country. […] And then you have environmental groups that are becoming very sophisticated technically. […] And so you have a […] new generation of expertise […] coming out of these compatible perspectives of environmentalism and the native peoples and emerging science. So we need ethics more than ever. […] We need to balance our wisdom, our technology process with values.”

[26:46] “We are routinely juggling different values in our lives. […] Ethics helps us do that. Because ethics is a way of looking critically at what our options are. […] What I have not seen in the literature [of] value discussion about water […] [is about how to] make decisions that allow us to take advantage of synergies and avoid as many conflicts as we can. There are going to be some conflicts and let's be aware, let's go mindfully through this navigation process using ethics as a tool to do that.

Rating: 💧💧

🎙️ Full Episode: Google | Spotify
🕰️ 30 min | 🗓️ 06/16/2021
✅ Time saved: 28 min

Additional Links:
Book: Water Ethics (Dr. David Groenfeldt)