Jason Momoa may be best known to fans as Khal Drogo in HBO’s mega-popular “Game of Thrones” series, or perhaps as Aquaman from the upcoming “Justice League” blockbuster. But he has a passion beyond acting: the issue of water conservation. Momoa, who also writes and directs, could say he has water in his blood.

NOT A GAME: Growing up in Hawaii, where water is held in such a high regard, and now living in the drought of Los Angeles, Momoa is advocating to protect water access for what is a global issue. Photo: Brian Mendoza


“Half of my family is from Hawaii, and water on an island is a precious thing,” he explains. “If you translate the word ‘Hawai’i,’ you learn it actually means ‘living water belonging to the gods.’

“The people don’t identify themselves as individuals of the land; they believe they are the land,” Momoa says. “To us, and many other indigenous tribes, water is literally life.”

“‘The fight at Standing Rock is not only a lesson on the importance of our water, but a true test of who we are as Americans.’”

Drought near and far

Living in Los Angeles, Momoa has seen the impact of drought firsthand. However, he's quick to point out the current water crisis is a global problem. “About 1.5 million children die a year due to water poverty,” he says. “That’s only one statistic.

“There are so many different stats that it can be overwhelming, leading a lot of us to feel like there isn’t much we can do. But the global water crisis is actually made up of many local ones we can be involved in.”

Taking action

Momoa is currently involved in the movement to protect access to the land and water of Mauna Kea in Hawaii. “With Mauna Kea we joined the people’s movement and helped spread awareness through social media,” the star explains. “We started the #WeAreMaunaKea campaign as a fight to protect the mountain and its water source. It took a long time, but we've stopped development for now. We’re not naïve enough to believe the fight won’t start up again, so, if or when it does, we’ll be ready to pick up and do it again.”

He also urges the public to become involved in fighting the planned Dakota Access Pipeline: “Over a hundred Native American tribes have united to protect the Standing Rock Reservation’s water source, which is being threatened by the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline,” Momoa explains. “The fight at Standing Rock is not only a lesson on the importance of our water, but a true test of who we are as Americans. Please render support any way you can.”