Alex and Tyler Mifflin on set of Season 4: Episode 4 - On Ice, exploring glaciers in Alberta.

In every corner of the globe you will hear similar stories about water and the ocean. The rains do not arrive as predictably as they once did, droughts and floods are becoming more common, unpredictable and extreme. The seas are rising, being drained of fish and filling up with plastic. For the past five years my brother and I have had the opportunity to travel around the world and investigate stories like these and have tried to gain a better understating of how humanity is reshaping the planet and putting our most valuable, life-giving resources at risk.

With each passing day, 200,000 more humans are added to the planet, most of them born in regions of the world where water is scarce and aquifers and rivers are disappearing rapidly. Half of the world’s population already experiences water shortages and competition for water will only continue to intensify in a world of nine billion by 2050. No matter where we film, it continues to reinforce the dire need to develop and share solutions that help manage water more sustainably, protect vulnerable ecosystems and produce more food and clean energy using less water. The current situation is not encouraging, but there are reasons to be hopeful.

The Water Brothers at the Experimental Lakes Area (ELA) research centre in Northern Ontario, learning about how warming waters are affecting freshwater ecosystems.

This season we learned how drones, robots and satellites are being used to fight global scourge of illegal fishing and how innovative sushi chefs can help restore ocean ecosystems. We drank recycled cow wastewater and ate farmed crickets that can help reduce the massive water footprint of livestock production. In the Amazon we learned how deforestation created a massive drought in Sao Paulo and met with farmers who are making agricultural production more sustainable.

Wherever we went, we saw the destruction of once pristine ecosystems, but also encountered inspiring groups of people who are helping to create a more sustainable relationship with our blue planet. Time is running out and real change can only occur if everyone is made aware of just how serious the consequences will be if we maintain the status quo. Mismanaging water does not just mean going thirsty. It leads to a world where food becomes more expensive or simply impossible to grow in some areas. It forces people to leave their homelands and flock to overcrowded mega cities and become environmental refugees. Lack of clean water and sanitation locks people into an almost endless cycle of poverty. Taking water for granted puts us all at risk and sets us down a path that future generations will not easily overcome.

To take a glimpse into our uncertain future of water and learn what you can do to help protect our most valuable resource, we encourage you to watch some of our journeys, premiering March 3rd at 7:30pm on TVO and stream for free anytime at www.thewaterbrothers.ca.

Click the Water Brothers logo below to open a PDF of the season's showtimes.

Alex Mifflin is the writer, co-host and co-director of the television series The Water Brothers, a global award winning eco-adventure show that examines some of the most challenging water-related environmental and social issues of our time.

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