Dr. Eric Strauss participated in a lively panel discussion about California’s water situation with Doug Walters, Chief Sustainability Officer and Chief Resiliency Officer for the City of LA, and James Thebaut, President and Founder of The Chronicles Group, during LMU’s College of Business Administration Ethics and Sustainability Series Night at the Movies on November 16, 2022. The audience of LMU business, biology and environmental professors and many of their students viewed Thebaut’s latest documentary, California’s Watershed Healing (Trailer) on the water situation in the state of California. Experts in the field, along with local and state government officials, were interviewed and articulated their concern while offering advice.
The screening was followed by a panel discussion led by host Jeffrey Thies, director of LMU College of Business Administration’s Institute for Business Ethics and Sustainability.
The National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS) reports that 99.76% of California is experiencing moderate to exceptional drought. California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains Watershed, which supplies water to more than 75% of California, has been neglected and mismanaged for decades, according to the Little Hoover Commission. Further compounding the issues is the climate crisis that has impacted the forest ecosystem and snowpack.
Doug Walters shared what the city is doing to save and reuse as much water as possible. Dr. Strauss made a very compelling statement to the students in the audience imploring them to take this on when they graduate and address the crisis with as much urgency as the situation will continue to demand. While the documentary focused on California’s water crisis, worldwide issues were also discussed.
As Jim Thebaut emphatically stated, “The planet is in serious trouble”, later sharing, “We just hit 8 billion people on the planet, if we don’t figure this out, it’s over.”