An IFSAR-derived image of the Koyukuk River in Alaska, US

An IFSAR-derived image of the Koyukuk River in Alaska, US. Original data from Alaska Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys. Photo: Daniel Coe / Flickr .

Life depends on water. Not only do we need it to drink, but it is key to human development, from sanitation to agriculture, and to the ecosystems around us.

Water Stories is a podcast about the world of water. SEI experts break down complex topics, such as efforts to manage water in California, the importance of giving ecosystems a “voice” in water planning, the intersection of poverty and water availability, and the role of computer models in managing water amid a changing climate.

Find a complete list of episodes and listen on the following podcast platforms:

The water program of SEI US drives innovation in water management by developing, using, and transferring planning tools and participatory processes.

Episode 8

Adopting a narrow water narrative in one locale may lead to misinterpreting specific local challenges or denying how water is transferred through products or economic or physical connections across scales. This episode presents how current water management approaches consider natural and social processes beyond traditional political boundaries.

Claudia Coleoni, a Research Associate at SEI Latin America, discusses how local water goes global and the concept of teleconnections in water management, using case studies from Colombia.

Episode 7

World Water Day celebrates water and focuses on the 2 billion people worldwide living without safe water or access to water. The core focus of World Water Day (22 March 2022) is to support the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 6, which is clean water and sanitation for all by 2030. The central theme this year is Groundwater: Making the Invisible Visible. In this episode, SEI’s Chuck Young and Vishal Mehta share their vast experiences in sustainable water management and insights to honor World Water Day 2022.

Episode 6

Bangalore Urban Metabolism Project (BUMP) is a joint initiative of the Stockholm Environment Institute and the Centre for Public Policy at the Indian Institute of Management , Bangalore . BUMP’s goal is to treat cities as living entities that use energy and resources, and to understand the connections between water and energy as the city’s population grows.

In this episode, SEI Senior Scientist and BUMP principal investigator Vishal Mehta discusses topics related to BUMP, such as computer models, household water sources and the role of government agencies in water management and research.

Episode 5

The primary goal of technology and planning in water management is to provide sufficient, but sustainable, water to cities, industries, farmlands and ecosystems. In this episode, SEI’s Jack Sieber discusses SEI’s essential water modeling tool WEAP (Water Evaluation And Planning).

Show notes


WEAP main website
SEI’s WEAP work
WEAP on YouTube
California Sustainable Groundwater Management Act

Episode 4

The Chiquitano Forest is the largest of the world’s few remaining dry forest ecosystems. Mainly located in Bolivia, it sits between South America’s two most extensive river basins: the Amazon and La Plata. Fires occur every year in the area, but in 2019, they spiraled out of control and burned almost 10%  of the Santa Cruz Department. In this episode, SEI’s Jeanne Fernandez and Bart Wickel discusses their work modeling groundwater dynamics in the context of fire impacts, as part of Bolivia WATCH (WASH Thinking Connected to Hydrology).

Show notes


SEI: Bolivia WATCH
SEI: WATCH Chiquitania
SEI brief on Chiquitania fires and water resources
Bolivian Ministry of Environment and Water (Ministerio de Medio Ambiente y Agua)
Agua Sustentable
Fundación para la Conservación del Bosque Chiquitano (FCBC)
Observatorio Bosque Seco Chiquitano

Episode 3

The United Nations World Water Development Report 2021 emphasizes the need to recognize, measure, and express the value of water, in order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) of the 2030 Agenda. In this episode. SEI’s Laura Forni and Annette Huber-Lee share their experiences on why it is essential to raise awareness about the value of water.

Show notes


SEI: Valuing water
SEI: Bolivia WATCH
Rwanda Water Resources Board
SEI: Poverty, water and gender in Cambodia
UN World Water Development Report 2021: Valuing Water
The World Bank: Water

Episode 2

Ecosystems are critical elements of the global water cycle. In this episode, SEI’s Marisa Escobar and Doug Chalmers share the importance of freshwater ecosystems in California. They discuss the threats faced by aquatic species, especially salmon, from climate change, as well as how to allocate water for environmental flows and technology’s role in understanding the trade-offs and opportunities of different water management options.

Show notes


Water: A Biography
Journal article on Butte Creek research
California State Water Resources Control Board
Santa Clara Valley Water District
Maven’s Notebook
California WaterBlog
California Environmental Flows Framework (CEFF)
California Data Exchange Center
SEI: Water for Ecosystems and Livelihoods

Episode 1

In this episode, SEI’s Brian Joyce and Chuck Young share the importance of managing water under climate variability and climate change, as well as the impacts of climate change on water systems and the sustainability of groundwater in California.

Show notes


California State Water Resources Control Board
Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA)
Water Education Foundation
PPIC Water Policy Center
Maven’s Notebook