Podcast explores who owns water

“Water Rights,” a new episode of the “What Makes Us Human” podcast series, explores the critical question of who owns our planet’s water. The podcast’s fourth season -- "What Does Water Mean to Us Humans?" -- showcases the newest thinking across academic disciplines about the relationship between humans and water.

“None of us can survive without water. If an individual, a corporation or a country monopolizes water, selling it for the highest price or controlling it for political gain, then those without money and power will suffer” says Charles Geisler, professor of development sociology in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, in his podcast.

Geisler’s research focuses on the sociology of property: its genealogy, abiding controversies, and centrality in development debates. He’s interested in controversies arising from the distribution of landed property; new forms of group possession/dispossession; property rights and human rights; property in states of exception; and emergent forms of ownership blending public and private interests. These interests apply to water as well as land.

The “What Makes Us Human?” podcast is produced by the College of Arts and Sciences in collaboration with the Cornell Broadcast Studios and features audio essays written and recorded by Cornell faculty. New episodes are released each Tuesday through the spring semester, airing on WHCU and WVBR. The episodes are also available for download on iTunes and SoundCloud and for streaming on the A&S humanities page, where text versions of the essays are also posted.

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		 Alexander Henson planting the American flag at North Pole in 1909