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Thursday, May 12 at 8pm ET | 5pm PT.  To address Water’s True Cost, PBS Books is pleased to host a conversation with journalist and professor Peter Annin, discussing his book “The Great Lakes Water Wars,” led by Program Director of the Great Lakes Now Sandra Svoboda.

Examining water’s true cost, Annin and Svoboda discuss the aging water systems in the Great Lakes region and across the United States.  Annin also provides foundational knowledge about various concepts like diversion and pollution, encouraging audience members to gain a larger understand about the challenges ahead. As the nation prepares to pour billions of federal dollars into rescuing water systems, join this program to learn more.

Water’s True Cost Project is a Great Lakes News Collaborative that includes Bridge Michigan; Circle of Blue; Great Lakes Now at Detroit Public Television; and Michigan Radio, Michigan’s NPR News Leader.  They are working together to bring audiences news and information about the impact of climate change, pollution, and aging infrastructure on the Great Lakes and drinking water. This independent journalism is supported by the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation.

Great Lakes Now

The Great Lakes Now initiative offers in-depth coverage of news, issues, events and developments affecting the lakes and the communities that depend on them, while capturing the character and culture of the region through a  monthly magazine-style television program and daily online reports at GreatLakesNow.org,. Find Watch Parties and other events HERE.

Housed at Detroit Public TVGreat Lakes Now’s growing network of regional partner public broadcaster stations and other media outlets contribute coverage to the television program and to the Great Lakes Now website. The monthly show, “Great Lakes Now,” launched in April 2019, and since then has expanded to a basin-wide, bi-national program carried on more than 25 PBS stations in six states as well as on more than 800 Canadian cable systems.

About the Author: Peter Annin

A veteran conflict and environmental journalist, Peter Annin spent more than a decade reporting on a wide variety of issues for Newsweek. For many years he specialized in coverage of domestic terrorism and other conflicts, including the bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City and the Branch Davidian standoff outside Waco, Texas. He also spent many years writing about the environment, including droughts in the Southwest, hurricanes in the Southeast, wind power on the Great Plains, and the causes and consequences of the “dead zone” in the Gulf of Mexico.

After his time at Newsweek, Annin became associate director of the Institute for Journalism and Natural Resources, a nonpartisan national nonprofit that organizes educational fellowships for midcareer environmental journalists. In September 2006 he published his first book, The Great Lakes Water Wars, which has been called the definitive work on the Great Lakes water diversion controversy and received the Great Lakes Book Award for nonfiction. From 2010 to 2015 Annin served as managing director of the University of Notre Dame’s Environmental Change Initiative, which targets the interrelated problems of invasive species, land use, and climate change, focusing on their synergistic impacts on water resources.

In 2018, Annin published a major revision of The Great Lakes Water Wars and he continues to write about the Great Lakes and other water issues.

He currently serves as director of the Mary Griggs Burke Center for Freshwater Innovation at Northland College in Ashland, Wisconsin. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Wisconsin, a master’s in international affairs from Columbia University in New York, and an honorary doctorate of humane letters from Northland College.


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