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Let's Talk About Water

Promote Water Science Education with Film


Are you interested in film, or in water, or in communicating science? Let's Talk About Water (LTAW) is a grant program that provides an opportunity to engage others in discussions about important water issues. Learn more about the benefits of developing a Let's Talk About Water event in this EOS article. LTAW grants are awarded to cover reimbursement costs of up to $7,500.

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Watch Program Founder Linda Lilienfeld discuss Let's Talk About Water at the 2021 CUAHSI Biennial:

LTAW Proposal Options

There are 3 proposal options available:

  1. Hold a traditional Let’s Talk About Water Event: Create a panel, screen a film that is related to water issues, and ask the panel to address questions from the audience related to the film and/or water issues.
  2. Hold a traditional Let’s Talk About Water Event plus host a science communication workshop for students, and then ask workshop participants to form the discussion panel.
  3. Create a short film about water that can be hosted by CUAHSI and screened at a CUAHSI event or posted online. As a scientist, this type of event gives you the opportunity to tell the story of your (or someone else’s) work in a way that connects with a broad audience.

Proposals are accepted in the fall. Check back later for the 2022 Proposal Application.

Students, student groups, faculty and staff affiliated with U.S. universities and colleges are eligible to apply for an LTAW Grant.

Application Requirements:

  1. 2-page CV
  2. A statement describing the proposed activity.
  3. A one-page proposed budget, including justification. Note indirect costs are not allowed in the grant budget.
  4. Students and student groups are asked to provide a Letter of Endorsement/Commitment from the applicant’s advisor.

The grant is awarded as a reimbursement after the completion of the event, meaning that costs should be covered by the event organizer up front. CUAHSI can also work with event organizers to pay directly for event costs if needed.

Questions can be directed to Veronica Sosa Gonzalez at email hidden; JavaScript is required

CUAHSI, through support from the National Science Foundation and the Johnson Family Foundation, has developed resources to enable you to host your own Let's Talk About Water event. CUAHSI staff are available to provide support if you have questions as you develop your event.

The LTAW event formula is simple;

  1. Decide what you are trying to achieve and who you are trying to reach.
  2. Choose a film and panel, determine a communications topic or create a film that supports your objective and target audience.
  3. Market your event or film and create buzz.
  4. Make it an engaging forum for a lively discussion!

As a scientist, LTAW events give you the opportunity to tell the story of your work, or someone else’s, in a way that connects with a general audience. For a more comprehensive list of water and environmental films that have been shown at previous LTAW events as well as past university and community events, view the complete Film Inventory on the official Let's Talk About Water website. And check out the recording of the LTAW Short Film Showcase webinar here!

Listen to 2020 LTAW Grant winner, Paula Buchanan, speak about the benefits this award had on her career:

View Attack of the Evil Fatbergs!

Mayors Make Movies - An Initiative by Let’s Talk About Water

Mayors Make Movies is an initiative to promote wider engagement and participation in water policy and water science communication through short film production amongst mayors, youth, and filmmakers in cities across the African continent. These partnerships address three concerns:

  • Mayors are at the frontline of water resource management and water policy adoption in African cities.
  • 60% of the population in the African continent is below the age of 25, and the total population is expected to double by 2050. The current and future youth population will inherit today’s solutions, problems, and policies. Their involvement now and in the future is crucial.
  • Digital media and visual communication are important means to communicate with youth and a wide array of stakeholders.

Mayors Make Movies creates partnerships between mayors and filmmakers in African cities to produce short films that feature the role of and initiatives by city mayors, local issues and solutions, and highlight principles of water governance.

Visit the Mayors Make Movies website to keep up-to-date on the progress of this initiative.

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