We play in it, clean with it, cook with it, admire it, and depend on it for survival. We're talking about water and the delicate relationship our state has with this natural resource. This week we examine the current water crisis. Joshua Stewart Visits the Tampa Bay Seawater Desalination Plant. Host Irene Maher interviews the author of "Mirage, Florida and the Vanishing Water of the Eastern U.S." We find out more about the upcoming Drought Summit in Tampa, and hear from area farmers about alternative ways to grow crops. Irene meets with a local gardening expert to learn tips for dealing with new water restrictions. Larry Elliston introduces us to a group of people who take water conservation to the next level. Also: After three years of below-average rainfall, the rivers are low and the reservoir is empty. Water managers and local governments have imposed the tightest water-use restrictions ever. But out West, communities have been dealing with drought for decades. What can we learn from them? We'll talk about some of the best ways those areas are planning for - and withstanding - drought conditions.
In recent years, the word 'drought' has almost gone hand-in-hand with our sunny Florida weather. With news of the drought in mind, WUSF was recently invited into the homes of Clara Ann Yarian of Dunedin along with George and Arleen Wich of Clearwater. In both locations, Florida Matters producer Larry Elliston was introduced to some innovative, low-cost ideas for combating the current water shortage, and learned how to transform one of them - the rain barrel - into visual, as well as functional, artwork.
Arts in Tampa Bay
Whether you're an art connoisseur or paint-by-numbers is more your style, we're going to take you off the beaten path this week to introduce you to some bay area artists you may not know. We ask the question: What defines art? We'll show you a couple examples right here in the bay area that defy conventional standards of the definition. Host Irene Maher takes us to a small community in Pinellas County that is fired up about the arts. Carson Cooper introduces us to a photographer who considers conservation awareness just as important as the framing of his shot when considering his next project, while Susan Giles Wantuck travels to an artist's retreat right in Manatee county that provides the perfect backdrop for artistic creativity. And Larry Elliston introduces us to a painter who finds inspiration right in his own backyard. Also: For many artists, their creations are a hobby, a passion, an outlet. Some artists make a go of it as professionals, depending on their creativity to provide an income. But is there demand for art in this sour economy? And how do you take that leap to turn art-making into a career? This week, learn how artists are making that happen.