Manage episode 341272499 series 2438149
Every superhero has an origin story. For hydrologist Phillip Harder, who I consider a water superhero, his origin story traces back to when he first saw a culvert sticking straight up in the air near his farm at the age of seven.
Phillip wanted to know why there was fresh water at the bottom of that odd-looking culvert when there was an alkali body of water nearby. To a seven year-old kid growing up on a farm southeast of Saskatoon, this question needed an answer.
The answer to this question, and the great story that surrounds it, is in this episode of YXE Underground.
Season 5 of YXE Underground begins with Phillip Harder. He is a hydrologist and a Research Associate for the Centre for Hydrology at the University of Saskatchewan. He is also a member of a national team called the Global Water Futures research project.
Phillip is helping communities on the prairies, and especially farmers, learn to best use their fresh water resources. He’s doing this through careful research, flying expensive drones and engaging with people on social media.
I really admire the work Phillip is doing for our communities. I think the issue of fresh water will become more prominent in the years to come here in Saskatoon as we continue to see the impact of climate change and how it impacts the South Saskatchewan River. We rely so much on the South Saskatchewan River here in Saskatoon, but as Phillip points out in the podcast, so do many people in Saskatchewan and Alberta. We are going to need to share this valuable resource and Phillip’s research will help guide us in how best to do so.
You will also hear from Jay Famiglietti in this episode. Jay is the Executive Director for the Global Institute of Water Security at the University of Saskatchewan and hosts a wonderful podcast called What About Water which is produced here in Saskatoon. Jay does an excellent job of putting Phillip’s work into a larger context and discusses the challenges of sharing research with people who are set in their ways when it comes to using water.
This was such a fun episode to produce! I spent a very hot August afternoon with Phillip on his family’s land just south of Clavet, Saskatchewan, which is about 15 minutes southeast of Saskatoon. He not only took me to the infamous vertical culvert but also to a research site where some of his work is taking place. Phillip is passionate about educating people on issues surrounding fresh water and is gifted at explaining things in clear and understandable ways.
I hope you enjoy the Season 5 debut of YXE Underground and I want to thank you for supporting a local, independent podcast! When I started this podcast in September of 2018, I had no idea it would find such a caring and engaged audience, and I sure didn’t think I would make it to a fifth season! Thank you so much for your continued support as I really love sharing the stories of people who are making a difference in Saskatoon but are flying under the radar.