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Local podcaster focuses on climate change and water security in the Oldman watershed

Posted on May 23, 2024 by Taber Times

By Steffanie Costigan
Southern Alberta Newspapers

Michael Bartz, producer of a local podcast series titled In Over My Head, has travelled across the province for more than eight months and conducted 18 interviews for his latest season talking with experts from organizations such as the Oldman Watershed Council, The Alberta Wilderness Association, the Cows and Fish organization and the Alberta Lake Management Society.

“I’ve been involved with Environment Lethbridge Wasteless group,” Bartz says. “It’s a volunteer group that looks at reducing waste in our city. We’re talking about water issues in Lethbridge, and because my show was about the environment, I thought I really want to cover something around water and the Oldman watershed.”

The podcast, focusing on the Oldman watershed regarding climate change and water security, was one of the few selected to receive a grant from the Land Stewardship Centre’s 2023 Watershed Stewardship Grant.

Bartz described his line of questioning and what his podcast season explores with the Oldman watershed.

“So what I want to know is how, why does our watershed matter as the climate changes? I learned throughout the season talking with guests, that we are having more droughts, more floods; especially droughts were a big concern. How does that, first of all, impact the watershed? And I also looked at what is a healthy watershed?

“As far as like a healthy riparian area, (the) lakes, the water flow, fish, water, and land management. Looking at that, and then also, how does that impact businesses and the city and our future as we look at water in a changing climate? It’s a very important topic.”

Bartz said he was inspired to start his podcast back in 2021 after he began feeling overwhelmed by the climate crisis.

“I wanted to do something, I wanted to talk to environmental experts, I felt in over my head.

Speaking with various experts helped him learn and talk about issues and helped him feel empowered.

“I try to cover topics that are approachable, like a regular person who’s listened to environmental things, and how we can live more sustainably in a changing climate.”

In Over My Head can be found at The season on the Oldman watershed, one of 11 seasons, has six episodes.

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