Ford School alum Kathryn Curtis (MPA ’15), recently spent 12 months in Brazil as a Boren Fellow. In the process, she learned about water scarcity and security concerns, and has launched an indiegogo crowd-funding campaign for a plant-able coloring book designed to bring broad attention to these issues.
Here, Curtis describes the water security challenges in Brazil:
In São Paulo, Brazil, city residents are thirsty. They dig wells in their back yard, drink dirty water, hoard what little they have. The Cantareira Reservoir System, which provides water to this enormous city, is drying up. But the problem isn't just in São Paulo - it's all across Brazil, and spreading fast. Water scarcity and water security affect us all. It is urgent that the public - not just experts or politicians - understand what is happening, and how to help.
During her year in Brazil, Curtis volunteered with a sustainable agriculture non-profit, a think-tank that addresses deforestation in the Amazon, and traveled to many remote areas where the drought was particularly harsh. She believes the coloring book will allow her to raise awareness about water security issues around the world in a fun and transformative way. The book will combine Curtis’ research findings with the drawings of an award-winning Brazilian artist, Rogério Fernandes.
Rogerio Fernandes is from Belo Horizonte, Brazil, and while his work can be found across the world, says Curtis, it is deeply influenced by the woodcarving styles of the Brazilian northeast.