Science & Tech, Home & Lifestyle, Community & Government


Dr. Jane Goodall

Lesson time 14:16 min

Water is one of our most precious resources. And yet, Dr. Jane says we take it for granted. Here’s how we should think about water before it's too late.

Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars

Topics include: Fresh Water • The Ocean • Ocean Warming • Water Conservation


One of the real big threats that we face in the future is shortage of fresh water supplies. And people are always saying, we'll eventually run out of oil and gas. We can live without oil and gas. We know the alternatives. We cannot live without water. Life cannot exist without water. It's what people search for when they find a new planet circling around another sun, might it sustain life, is there water there. And unfortunately, we are so many people are just taking water for granted. They-- a major problem is because of human population growth, and because of this idea that we can play around with nature, huge amounts of water being diverted from the underground aquifers to irrigate areas to grow crops which should not be growing crops because the water supply isn't sufficient. So bringing this water up from deep down below, draining the aquifers, at the same time the runoff from the agriculture polluting that groundwater and then down into the deep aquifers. You know, this is causing huge, huge problems. And I've actually spoken with people who said, well, on this farm there used to be little pools and little springs. And everything was green and .. But now, in order to get water, we have to drill down. And each year we have to drill a little bit deeper. So where will this end? Some people foresaw a future where water shortage was going to lead to war. And I'm told that certain companies sent people around to actually buy up the rights to aquifers in different countries. And it's tragic that there is so much waste of water. And it makes me really upset that you can go into a shop and you can buy water from Fiji, and it boasts that it's come 2,000 miles over the sea, and it's fresh water from Fiji. And to bring water from Fiji, what's it doing to the ecosystem in Fiji? And what about the fossil fuel used to bring it. And yet, people will buy a bottle. They'll have a glass full. And the rest will get thrown away. We waste water. People are not thinking because-- and I think it's especially true in the United States. You go to every gas station, and you press a button, and you get free ice coming out. And that ice is just to keep some drink cool in your freezer so that you can enjoy a cool drink. And then the ice is all thrown out. And water is being wasted, wasted, wasted. Fortunately, some restaurants are beginning to offer you water. And would you like your glass refilled? But most restaurants, they just fill you up automatically. And then what happens to the water? It's wasted. [MUSIC PLAYING] Thinking about the importance of water leads us to think about the ocean, because it's into the ocean that the streams and the rivers drain. And what's happening to the streams and the rivers in so many places is that the runoff from industrial and agricultural and household waste is draining down...

About the Instructor

There is still a window of time. Nature can win if we give her a chance. In her first ever online class, Dr. Jane Goodall teaches how you can conserve the environment. She also shares her research on the behavioral patterns of chimpanzees and what they taught her about conservation. You'll learn how to act locally and protect the planet.

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Dr. Jane Goodall

Dr. Jane Goodall shares her insights into animal intelligence, conservation, and activism.

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