Freshwater biodiversity tends to be the most threatened of all types of biodiversity. In this episode I speak with Jenny Day about the state of freshwater biodiversity in South Africa's drought-prone Southwestern Cape, and elsewhere in the world. We get into how it coexists with humankind’s need for water.
Jenny is emeritus professor of freshwater ecology at the University of Cape Town, where she was also Director of the Freshwater Research Unit for many years. She has co-authored the book Vanishing Waters and, more recently, Freshwater Life: A field guide to the plants and animals of southern Africa, as well as numerous papers and research reports on various aspects of river and wetland ecology.
Links to resources:
Freshwater Life: A field guide to the plants and animals of southern Africa - A book that Jenny co-authored a few years ago
Cape Town's Day Zero: 'We are axing trees to save water' - BBC article about the removal of invasive trees to save water
01:30: How Jenny decided on freshwater ecology
04:40: Why freshwater ecologists end up being involved in management and policy
11:20: The state of freshwater biodiversity
15:36: Threats to freshwater biodiversity
18:15: Water needs of communities, and dealing with Cape Town's two-year drought
28:00: Invasive trees
31:20: Virtual water
35:05: Adapting agriculture to be water-smart