Don’t be fooled by all the rain and snow this winter. Historically, another drought is likely around the corner. As “Water & Power: A California Heist,” a National Geographic documentary, airing Tuesday, makes clear, the state is facing problems that go deeper than filling its reservoirs.
Director Marina Zenovich refers to her new film as “Chinatown,” the documentary. The filmmaker’s latest work “Water & Power: A California Heist” shines the spotlight on modern-day water barons in California’s San Joaquin Valley and the backroom deals that have helped pad their pockets. Stewart and Lynda Resnick, owners of the Wonderful Company, feature prominently, as does the Kern County Water Bank they partially control, and the Monterey Amendments, which helped make that possible.
From the Los Angeles Times, in a commentary by Gary Polakovic:
It’s been 40 years since the June 20, 1974, opening of “Chinatown,” the fictionalized drama about power, corruption and what is arguably L.A.’s most crucial resource: water. The iconic film was Hollywood’s make-believe version of an undying reality: In L.A., you have to follow the water.
“Lauren Bon’s mobile art project, ‘100 Mules Walking the Los Angeles Aqueduct,’ was an ambitious, unwieldy and some say stunning performance piece meant to reawaken Angelenos’ interest in its water supply and commemorate the aqueduct’s 100th birthday.”
“If ‘Watermark’ does nothing else, it will make you question society’s contradictory view of water use. The clear liquid is as essential to human life as it is threatened, yet we don’t seem to be able to do what it takes to make sure it stays available enough to keep us alive.”
“Oscar-winning filmmaker Jessica Yu joined dozens of water managers and local, state and federal officials at Sunnylands on Wednesday for the opening reception of a two-day symposium focusing on drought and water scarcity in the West.
“Yu introduced her film, ‘Last Call at the Oasis,’ which documents the increasing scarcity of water in many parts of the world.”
From The Bakersfield Californian, in a commentary by Lois Henry:
“Water can be such a complex issue that most people would rather not be bothered. For filmmaker Juan Carlos Oseguera, water became impossible to ignore as he watched family, friends and whole communities suffer from political decisions made about water decades ago and thousands of miles away.
Join Sascha Rice Oct. 26 for a special screening of her Emmy-nominated documentary film, California State of Mind: The Legacy of Pat Brown, during the California Council of History Education Conference in Sacramento. This event is sponsored by the Center for California Studies at Sacramento State and is free and open to the public.
“Actor and environmentalist Robert Redford remembers with awe the first time he floated on the Colorado River — and with shock the first time he learned that the lifeblood of the Grand Canyon and the entire Southwest doesn’t reach the sea.
“So tapped is the Colorado by the seven states that use its watershed, from Wyoming and Colorado past Yuma to the Gulf of California, that it rarely ever flows to that Mexican inlet. The river has run dry since 1998.