Water and climate change in New Mexico – Water Buffs Podcast ep. 9 – Laura Paskus

We talk to Laura Paskus, a journalist with New Mexico PBS, about climate change and water issues in the state.

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We talk to Laura Paskus, a journalist with New Mexico PBS and the author of At the Precipice: New Mexico’s Changing Climate, which examines the many ways that state is being impacted by this global threat.

Laura has been covering environmental issues in New Mexico and beyond for two decades, writing for publications such as High Country News, the Santa Fe Reporter, New Mexico Political Report, New Mexico in Depth, and Indian Country Today. She’s also a board member of the Society for Environmental Journalists.

Episode highlights

Introduction   (0:28)
Laura Paskus, environmental journalistLaura Paskus, environmental journalist
The author of “At the Precipice: New Mexico’s Changing Climate,” Laura has been covering environmental issues in New Mexico and beyond for two decades.
Starts at 1:06
Book on climate change and New MexicoBook on climate change and New Mexico
Paskus’ book, released in 2020, explores the compounding stresses on New Mexico ecosystems wrought by climate change, and what can be done to adapt to them.
Starts at 2:03
Outlook for New Mexico water resources?   (5:18)
Future of the Rio GrandeFuture of the Rio Grande River
“I try to feel optimistic,“ says Paskus, but the Rio Grande has been getting steadily drier since she started reporting on it in 2002. Then, she says, agencies were reluctant to acknowledge the problem, but that has changed.
Starts at 8:05
Comparing the Rio Grande and Colorado rivers   (11:20)
Water Words: ‘Aquatic Nuisance Species’Water Words: ‘Aquatic Nuisance Species’   (13:42)
PFAS contamination in New Mexico waterPFAS contamination in New Mexico water
Paskus’ reporting on the long-lasting chemical used in cleaners, flame-retardants and other products has found that PFAS are widely distributed in New Mexico’s water supplies.
Starts at 16:11
Other New Mexico water stories?   (27:43)
The burden of bearing “bad news”   (30:55)
Advice for aspiring environmental journalists?   (37:16)
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Share your thoughts – and consider joining us

If you’re interested in appearing on the show, please contact Water Desk Director Mitch Tobin at mitchtobin@colorado.edu. If you’d like to share your comments and questions, you can reach us at waterdesk@colorado.edu, or on Twitter and Facebook.

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