TVO dives into Canada Water Week (March 19 to 25) and UN World Water Day (March 22) with a lineup of water-themed TV programs and online activities that will examine political, economic and environmental issues surrounding water quality and availability.
The week will kick off Monday, March 19 at 7 pm with the world premiere of The Water Brothers, an adventure-filled six-part, half-hour series produced by SK Films in association with TVO. Each episode of The Water Brothers will also be available online across Canada live-streamed at tvo.org/waterweek beginning at 7 pm.
Nearly 1 billion people in the world lack access to safe drinking water and over 3 billion pounds of waste are created per year from bottling water. These are the kind of issues that are on the minds of Alex and Tyler Mifflin, real-life brothers and the dynamic hosts of The Water Brothers, which will air over three days March 19 to 21 at 7 and 7:30 pm ET, with a marathon encore of the entire series Sunday March 25 beginning at 7 pm.
In the first season (TVO has ordered a second season), the brothers will take you around the world from the massive coral reef system in Central America and Mexico, to the mighty Mekong River in South East Asia, to the frozen Arctic Circle, to the carp infested waters of the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers, and back to a water processing facility in their home town of Toronto. Through the eyes of Alex and Tyler, we learn for ourselves what the problems are, what the local people and experts say about these problems, and most importantly, what we can all do about them.
“We are at an amazing time in human history, where we can all initiate change in our daily lives, on a local level, to solve global problems and we hope through this series we can shed some light on the state of what’s really happening with water issues around the world,” says co-host Tyler.
Join the brothers in a live chat Monday to Wednesday March 19 to 21 beginning at 7 pm and keep the conversation going on water issues affecting you.
“TVO is all about engaging people in dialogue about the issues that matter to our world through our multi-media educational resources,” says Lisa de Wilde, Chief Executive Officer of TVO. “TVO is uniquely positioned to go deep on issues like water and the environment and we’re delighted to support filmmakers like Alex and Tyler Mifflin of The Water Brothers.”
More from TVO’s Water Week:
The Agenda with Steve Paikin – Monday, March 19 and Thursday March 22 at 8 pm ET
TVO’s flagship current affairs program will invite experts to discuss and debate water issues in special water week programs. Topics will include the debate of how best to protect water: make it a commodity or declare it a human right. The Agenda will also look at water conflict areas around the globe.
White Water/Black Gold – Canadian Premiere – Thursday, March 22 at 10 pm ET
As a mountaineer and hiking guide over 15 years in the Columbia Icefields, David Lavallee has witnessed profound changes in the mountains due to climate change. Over a three-year period he investigates the impact of developing the second largest deposit of “oil” in the world, the Alberta Tarsands, and asks: Is the cost to water and people worth the economic benefits?
The Refugees of the Blue Planet – Tuesday, March 20 at 9 pm ET
Each year, millions of people the world over are driven to forced displacement due to climate change. The Refugees of the Blue Planet sheds light on the little-known plight of a category of individuals who are suffering the repercussions of this reality: environmental refugees.
Water on the Table – Wednesday, March 21 at 9 pm ET; repeated Sunday, March 28 at 10:30 pm ET
Filmmaker Liz Marshall follows Canadian activist Maude Barlow as she campaigns against the privatization of water and tries to bring attention to how industry is polluting the water table.
Toxic Trespass – Thursday, March 22 at 7 pm ET
Filmmaker Barri Cohen investigates the effects of the chemicals in our water, focusing on Windsor and Sarnia, Ontario, identified as Canadian toxic hotspots.
How the Earth Changed History: Water – Thursday, March 22 at 9 pm ET
Professor Iain Stewart visits spectacular locations in Iceland, the Middle East and India to look at how control over water has been central to human existence.
Wye: Voices from the Valley – Friday, March 23 at 7pm ET
The Wye River in Wales has been the muse for artists, writers and painters and poets for centuries. Time lapse photography is used to explore the impact of passing time on the river and its surrounding environment.
National Geographic: Extreme Ice – Saturday, March 24, 2012 at 7 pm ET
Photojournalist James Balog conducts the largest time-lapse photographic study ever attempted of the parts of the Earth’s surface where water exists in frozen form.
Allan Gregg in Conversation Water Week Online Mini Series – View full episodes of water-themed interviews at tvo.org/allangregg. Guests include Maude Barlow on the battle for the right to water; Gwynne Dyer on the geopolitical battle over dwindling water resources; Michael Byers on Arctic sovereignty and the Northwest Passage; George Monbiot on global warming and sea levels; Tim Flannery on extreme weather; and Marq de Villiers on the global shortage of fresh water.
TVOKids Water Week – TVOKids will celebrate Water Week in Gisèle’s Big Backyard preschool programming block, The Space afterschool programming block, and tvokids.com with water-themed programs and online activities that teach kids about the importance of water. Kids will get tips on conserving water, be able to participate in an online water poll and quiz, and watch some of their favourite programs with water-themed episodes. And on March 22, Alex and Tyler Mifflin from The Water Brothers will be in The Space to answer kids’ water questions.
Key Water Facts:
- As a result of the lack of access to safe drinking water approximately half the world’s hospital beds are filled by people suffering from water borne diseases (WHO / UNICEF). 1.4 million children die every year as a result of diseases caused by unclean water and poor sanitation. This amounts to around 4,000 deaths a day or one every 20 seconds. (WHO).
- Less than 1% of Earth’s water is readily drinkable; 97% is sea water; 2% is caught in polar ice caps (UN-Water Statistics).
- The average Canadian uses 329 litres of water daily (Environment Canada). That’s second only to usage in the United States. The average person in the developing world uses 10 litres of water every day for their drinking, washing and cooking. (Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC)).
- Toilets are the single largest water guzzling appliances in the home and make up about 1/3 of an individual’s daily water use. New ultra low flush and dual flush toilets use between 3-6 litres per flush compared to the traditional 13-20 litres (Environment Canada).
- The most common areas for leaks in your home are faucets, showerheads and toilets. A leak of only one drop per second wastes about 10 000 litres of water per year (Environment Canada).
- According to a 2001 report of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), roughly 1.5 million tons of plastic are expended in the bottling of 89 billion litres of water each year.