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Our Water Connection

Jessica Bohorquez (Senior Consultant at Ricardo) recently launched the first three episodes of her new podcast "Our Water Connection". Jessica is on a mission to showcase the water industry as a vital force in society, breaking down the barriers of complexity to make water knowledge accessible to all.

Jessica sat down with the AWA to delve deeper into why she created the Our Water Connection Podcast and the challenges she faced in creating her first podcast series.

Tell us about yourself!

I’m Jessica, I’m from Colombia and I've been here in Australia for seven years. I work for Ricardo which is an environmental, water and energy transition consultant company and at the University of Adelaide as well as a researcher and now I'm a podcast host I guess!

How did you get into the water industry?

I had no idea the water area was such a big part of civil engineering. When I started taking courses, I put in a lot of effort and I did really well and then around the mid year break I was already working in water because I had done really well in the course and I said yes and I've never looked back. It's amazing to see all the things that you can do and eventually I actually ended up teaching the course I studied and my professor who I initially thought was very mean became one of my biggest mentors.

You’ve recently launched the our water connection podcast which is very very exciting so tell us all about “Our Water Connection”

Our water connection is a project that started around a year ago at the beginning of 2023. I have had the idea in the back of my mind for even longer of creating something that would provide young water professionals a space to learn. What I thought about is when you go to a networking event or you meet someone new, if there is an area in water that you're not familiar with, you're going to be really lost unless you are really comfortable asking a lot of questions which I definitely am not. I found myself getting lost in a lot of conversations or having to dig a lot to understand very basic things so I thought well maybe if I sit down and chat with people that know a lot about a particular topic of the water industry, I can ask those questions. The idea is to show how broad the water industry is, how many people are involved and broaden the perspective of  young water professionals.

When it comes to podcasting itself, did you find any challenges?

Oh many like every single step, I think that's why it took me so long. I'm very methodical so I want to get the idea right but everything that I did the first time was really difficult like reaching out to the first speaker, doing the first recording, the first editing took me ages etc but everything is a learning curve so the second and the third time and the fourth time time that I've done it, I'm a lot more familiar. 

Why should water professionals and members of the AWA tune into our water connection?

The core of this project is to offer a space to learn so if you if you see a title that catches your attention that you don't know about or even something that you know a lot about and you work on that and you want to see it from a different perspective, tune in. Share the podcast with your own networks and outside of the industry because people really wonder what you do in the water industry. We've nailed that a lot during the conversations of the value of water for the community and the broader community and how it's not very visible. This is just one more way that people outside of their industry can learn a little bit more of how that works so definitely it's a space to learn.

What advice do you have for those looking to make a splash in the water industry who maybe want to start their own podcast?

Don't let the fear of failure stop you. We work in an essential industry honestly it's such a beautiful industry to be in which is something that I just get from every conversation that I've had. If you keep that broader picture in mind I think it helps to just kind of get that motivation up.

Check out the first three episodes of Our Water Connection below on YouTube


Our Water Connection Podcast