In a first for Broken Hill’s community radio station, 2Dry FM, one of its locally produced regular programs, Water Watch – hosted and produced by Megan Williams and Dan Schulz – will be broadcast on the nationwide Community Radio Network.
Covering life, culture, and the big issues on Australia’s waterways, with a specific focus on Far West NSW and the Murray-Darling Basin and Darling-Baaka River, Water Watch will now bring community voices and stories to the broader Australian public.
“It’s really exciting for the station’s profile as a place that is producing some really high-quality content and telling really important stories about all sorts of issues,” Mr Schulz told the Barrier Truth.
“From the perspective of the program itself, it’s a really important step to get water issues and water stories broadcast nationally.
“It has a local focus, but it’s also about the broader Murray-Darling Basin, and really getting those Darling-Baaka stories out there and the issues that are facing our local rivers out there, to a national audience to create more awareness nationally about what’s happened to our rivers and their future.
“We try to cover a lot from ecology to politics to culture to art, all inspired by water and rivers and people’s connection to the rivers that they are sustained by so it’s a really diverse program. Every week is pretty different.”
Water Watch welcomes a diversity of community voices, from traditional owners, to local graziers, to local water activists, but also speaks to experts in the field, and politicians also.
“It’s really about combining as many voices as we can on the show to highlight the different perspectives and to bring different people together around the issues of water.
“It’s also about broadcasting the community voice out to the nation as well, which I think is really exciting for the broader Darling-Baaka River community and the Far West in general,” Mr Schulz said.
The amount of work that he and station manager Ms Williams have put into the program shows the drive and passion which brings these stories to light. Doing it on a volunteer basis, the pair spend upwards of six to 12 hours a week on the program, and covering as much as they can in a 30-minute window. The two of them have been running the show for a year.
“It’s really good to have that national platform to recognise the work that we put into it, but also people across Australia really do care about the Darling-Baaka and the Murray-Darling Basin and solving some of the water security issues in the Murray-Darling Basin.
“I think it’s also a great chance for the broader national community to get in touch with what’s happening on a weekly basis, coming from people who live out here. Hopefully quite a few stations pick it up.”
Water Watch broadcasts locally in Broken Hill on 2Dry FM 107.7 on Thursday nights from 6pm ACST. The program will be broadcast nationally on any community radio station with access to the Community Radio Network, from 6.30pm AEST.
The program is also released as a podcast episode and is available to listen to on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or Google Podcasts. For more information on Water Watch, visit www.waterwatchradio.com