The story of a community’s successful fight to protect their water from the oil and natural gas industry. In 2013, Texas-based SWN Resources arrived in New Brunswick, Canada, a region known for forestry, farming, and fishing, both commercial and small-scale subsistence operations that the rural community depend on. A multicultural group of unlikely warriors united and set up road blockades to prevent oil exploration. After months of resistance, their efforts not only halted drilling, they elected a new government and won an indefinite moratorium on fracking. Past Presentation
Co-executive producer, Jill Heinerth, who hails from Alachua County, has dived deeper into caves than any woman in history. Her accolades include being named a "Living Legend" by Sport Diver Magazine and being in the inaugural class of the Women Divers Hall of Fame. Imaginative, entertaining, and enlightening, We Are Water illustrates the fragile relationship between our planet's endangered freshwater resources and the ever increasing needs of more and more people: For the first time in history, fresh water has become a finite resource. Without big changes in water policy and use, wars of the future may be fought, not over oil, but water. This movie will show us how we can help Jill Heinerth to keep that from happening. Past Presentation
Owsia (Darkened Water) tells the story of the aqueduct of Iranian city Yazd that has supplied water for hundreds of years. Now, the 2500 year old structure rots due to bureaucracy and corruption. Wastewater pollution is poisoning the pure and clean water that ran through the aqueduct during 84 kms of current. Past Presentation
Southern California officials on Tuesday took the unprecedented step of declaring a water shortage emergency and ordering outdoor usage be restricted to just one day a week for about 6 million people in parts of Los Angeles, Ventura and San Bernardino counties. The outdoor watering restrictions will take effect June 1 under the decision by the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California and will apply to areas that depend on water from the drought-ravaged State Water Project.
A compelling documentary about the collision of climate change, the desperate search for firewood, dirty water, and the burdens placed on women and girls. The film has provoked environmental and green film audiences in Durban, South Africa at the COP-17 meetings, to the Planet in Focus Film Festival in Toronto, where it won "Best International Short." It has also been selected to screen at the Colorado Environmental Film Festival and is being considered to become part of the program at Rio+20 Past Presentation
It's a conflict once unthinkable in the deep green South. Three states are locked in battle over the diminishing fresh water that saw Atlanta go from a small town to the largest growing city in the US. In this stunningly-shot, award-winning documentary film, brothers Michael and David Hanson return to the source of their childhood river and paddle it to the Gulf of Mexico to take you deep into the Water Wars. Past Presentation
This year, the conflict is more intense than before, with a faction of far-right activists threatening to use force to take control of the irrigation gates that determine how much water stays in the lake and how much goes to farm fields. The lake, about a hundred miles around, received little snow melt and is shallow enough to walk across in places. Later this summer, as in past years, it is likely to be too hot and toxic for the c’waam and another variety of federally protected suckerfish, the koptu, to spawn and survive.
Water managers are taking extraordinary measures to keep faucets flowing should the state enter a third year of a punishing drought this winter. That this affluent redwood-studded ecotopia faces such a possibility, though, is a harbinger of a climate-constrained destiny that is fast arriving.“These droughts are now on a new timeline,” said Newsha Ajami, a hydrologist and director of urban water policy at Stanford University’s Water in the West program. “There used to be at least 10 years in between droughts in California, which was time enough for water ecosystems to recover.
Low water in the Colorado River’s largest reservoir triggered the first-ever federal declaration of a shortage on Monday, a bleak marker of the effects of climate change in the drought-stricken American West and the imperiled future of a critical water source for 40 million people in seven states.
From the Pacific Northwest to the Colorado River Basin, irrigation districts already are warning farmers to expect less this year despite growing demands fueled by ever-drying conditions. Climate experts say March marked the third straight month of below-average precipitation across the U.S. and areas of record dryness are expanding in the West.
Two species of the bottom-feeding sucker fish that inhabit the Upper Klamath Lake and nearby rivers are struggling to survive after a century of water management in the Klamath Basin has all but drained the wetlands ecosystem where these fish once thrived.“Historically, these fish were really incredibly abundant — we’re talking tens of millions of individuals,” said Alex Gonyaw, senior fisheries biologist for Klamath Tribes. The tribes once relied heavily on the fish for subsistence and income. Now, the suckers are on the brink of extinction. During the past century, wetlands surrounding Upper Klamath Lake were converted to farmland, while waters from the basin were allocated to irrigators. The lake currently is used to store snowmelt water in the spring and that can be released to farmers during the summer months. But with the wetlands gone, algae in the lake blooms and dies off each year in a cycle that makes the water too toxic for the juvenile fish to survive.
Storage was once the centerpiece of California’s water management strategy, highlighted by a building bonanza in the mid-20th century of a number of dams and reservoirs. But in the more than 40 years since California last opened a major new reservoir, the politics and policy have shifted toward a more environmental focus that has caused tension between urban and rural legislators and the communities they represent. “We have about 1,500 reservoirs in California. If you assume people are smart — which they kind of are most of the time — they will have built reservoirs at the 1,500 best reservoir sites already,” said Jay Lund, co-director of the Center for Watershed Sciences at the University of California-Davis. “What you have left over is more expensive sites that give you less water.”
Flint managers appointed by then-Gov. Rick Snyder and regulators in his administration allowed the city to use the Flint River in 2014-15 without treating the water to reduce corrosion. As a result, lead in old pipes broke off and flowed.
Smart said money would be better spent buying land and conservation easements from farmers to reduce water usage and reduce nutrients from fertilizer. “Whenever we try to re-engineer natural systems instead of just protecting them it is way more expensive and it typically doesn’t work,” Smart said. “They are looking for an incredibly complex engineering answer to a very simple environmental question. It seems like there’s got to be a better use of time for the district than dreaming up pipe dreams.” This is a ridiculous idea - it would pollute the purest remaining water source we have!-tr*
An exploration of Nestle’s world dominance in the bottled water business, and its exploitations of groundwater and water rights. Swiss journalist Res Gehringer investigates this money making phenomena and reveals the schemes and strategies of the bottled water world. Past Presentation
California water officials have moved to stop Nestlé from siphoning millions of gallons of water out of California’s San Bernardino forest, which it bottles and sells as Arrowhead brand water, as drought conditions worsen across the state.
Ignoring urgent pleas from water officials, Californians used substantially more water after a record-dry three months gripped the state. Californians emerged from the driest January, February and March on record with the biggest jump in water use since the drought began: a nearly 19% increase in March compared to two years earlier. Despite the urgent pleas of water officials, California’s water use in March is the highest since 2015, standing in stark contrast to February, when residents and businesses used virtually the same amount of water in cities and towns as two years ago.
The contamination presents an “extremely troubling” health threat in the nation’s largest estuary, said Scott Faber, EWG’s senior vice president for government affairs.
The findings, part of a £1.85m project funded by the Natural Environment Research Council looking at how plastics transport bacteria and viruses, concluded that microplastics enabled pathogen transfer in the environment. The paper is published in the journal Environmental Pollution. “Being infectious in the environment for three days, that’s long enough to get from the wastewater treatment works to the public beach,” Quilliam said.
This drought, the worst on record, is the result of many factors, some flukes of nature and others the consequences of human activity. Average summer temperatures in California are 3 degrees higher now than they were at the end of the 19th century. Less snow falls, which means the volume of water feeding streams and reservoirs is 15% to 30% lower than in the mid-1900s.
About two-thirds of drinking water in the United States originates in forests. And when wildfires affect watersheds, cities can face a different kind of impact, long after the flames are out.
This January, Our Santa Fe River, an all-volunteer, nonprofit organization, assembled an environmental book club to bring together North Florida residents, like LeBlanc, who are concerned about water pollution and access. This is the first environmental-focused book club in Gainesville and aims to advocate for environmental causes through reading and open discussions.
San Diego formally launched Friday the largest infrastructure project in city history, a sewage recycling system that will boost local water independence in the face of more severe droughts caused by climate change. Dubbed “Pure Water,” the multibillion-dollar project is the culmination of a lengthy process featuring thorny lawsuits, complex labor deals and an aggressive public education campaign to fight the derogatory early nickname “toilet to tap.” “Pure Water is a legacy project that promises to deliver a reliable source of clean water to our region for decades to come — that’s why I advocated for $50 million in this year’s state budget,” state Senator Toni Atkins said at Gloria’s Friday news conference. “With worsening drought conditions in our state, this project is needed now more than ever.”
“Water has become a national security issue – it’s that serious,” said Pablo García-Chevesich, a Chilean hydrologist working at the University of Arizona. “It’s the biggest problem facing the country economically, socially and environmentally. If we don’t solve this, then water will be the cause of the next uprising.”
Problems at a Los Angeles sewage treatment plant that caused a massive spill into Santa Monica Bay last month have severely reduced the region’s water recycling ability, forcing officials to divert millions of gallons of clean drinking water at a time of worsening drought conditions, The Times has learned. Even as California Gov. Gavin Newsom urges a voluntary 15% reduction in water usage, the Hyperion Water Reclamation Plant‘s inability to fully treat sewage has forced local officials to divert drinking water to uses normally served by recycled water. Among those is an effort to protect coastal aquifers from seawater contamination, as well as the irrigation of parks, cemeteries and golf courses across southwest Los Angeles County.
Its construction began before the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. Since then, it has leaked over 180,000 gallons of petroleum into the groundwater aquifer that provides drinking water for over 400,000 residents and visitors from Hālawa to Hawaiʻi Kai.Despite its longstanding threat to water systems, this decrepit facility has been in use until operations were “paused” in late November, after hundreds of military families reported rashes, headaches, nausea, vomiting – symptoms of petroleum poisoning.
As California endures an increasingly brutal second year of drought, state water regulators are considering an emergency order that would bar thousands of Central Valley farmers from using stream and river water to irrigate their crops. On Friday, the State Water Resources Control Board released a draft “emergency curtailment” order for the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta watershed. The measure, which was first reported by the Sacramento Bee, would bar some water rights holders from diverting surface water for agricultural and other purposes. The proposed regulation underscores just how dire matters have become as drought squeezes the American West.“It says that this drought is really severe,” said Erik Ekdahl, deputy director of the state water board’s Division of Water Rights. The water board will consider the order’s approval on Aug. 3. If approved, it would go into effect about two weeks later at the earliest, Ekdahl added.
Will this be the year that California finally reckons with its past and climate changed future? You’d think so, as wildfires threaten Lake Tahoe and reservoirs dry up after two dry winters. Arax is not so sure. ARAX: As an aggregate, agriculture is defying all logic. There’s a kind of delusion that my book speaks to — a kind of a communal madness. Here we are, in the midst of the driest 10-year period in California’s recorded history, and we’re planting ever-more crops and trees on poor ground, which requires deep, deep extraction from the aquifer.
Once people are unable to secure mortgages and insurance for soaked homes, the Keys will cease to be a livable place long before it’s fully underwater, according to Harold Wanless, a geographer at the University of Miami. “People don’t have a concept of what sea level rise will do to them. They just can’t conceive it,” he said.
...more pollutants seep into the water as it travels further into the city, and Loblolly Park is a perfect example. Oil from cars, discarded trash, and animal waste from the roads, businesses, and apartments surrounding the park are swept up in the surface runoff. The runoff flows into the creek and contaminates the water.
With climate change and long-term drought continuing to take a toll on the Colorado River, the federal government on Monday for the first time declared a water shortage at Lake Mead, one of the river’s main reservoirs. The declaration triggers cuts in water supply that, for now, mostly will affect Arizona farmers. Beginning next year they will be cut off from much of the water they have relied on for decades. Much smaller reductions are mandated for Nevada and for Mexico across the southern border. But larger cuts, affecting far more of the 40 million people in the West who rely on the river for at least part of their water supply, are likely in coming years as a warming climate continues to reduce how much water flows into the Colorado from rain and melting snow.
But we never had a rethink of our system of water rights, and how much of our limited water we should be spending on agriculture versus leaving in the natural ecosystem.
An elderly couple experiences a crisis with water when the wife tries to change the fishbowl’s water but it slips out of her hand and falls on the ground. Past Presentation
Local water activists explore Gainesville’s fresh waterways and how they have been integrated into the city – even crawling beneath behemoth stores to follow the waters. Past Presentation
California’s mountain snowpack is shrinking, and climate change is intensifying the severe drought. Streams have dwindled and reservoirs have declined as vast quantities of water are diverted for farms and cities. Endangered fish are struggling to survive. And in farming areas in the Central Valley, hundreds of families are struggling with dry wells as groundwater levels continue to drop.
The Florida you know is a lie. In contrast to what Americans have been told, Florida’s magic is not found in the giant mouse, the rolling green golf courses, or in the beachside palaces. The beauty and uniqueness of Florida is under our feet - the aquifer. This pure, crystal clear water is the life blood of our state and without it, life as we know it in the sunshine state would not exist. This life sustaining force is only seen where it bubbles up to the surface through Florida’s collection of 1,000 springs. These springs were originally what drew society to this land. Wealthy tourists in the 1900’s flooded the Florida springs seeking medicinal cures from its pristine waters. As springs became a popular tourist destination, spring houses were built around these pools of water. When this development began, the springs began flowing less and some eventually stopped altogether. People assumed this was the natural order of this wonder and moved on. Theme parks, golf courses and resorts were erected to entice tourists to visit Florida, the natural beauty of the state soon faded out of our memory. The springs of Florida now silently suffer from the effects of continued development in Florida. The current strain we are placing on the fragile ecosystem is choking the life out of our state. Overdevelopment is one of the leading forces that is damaging the springs. The once pure sources of water no longer boil up like a fountain the way they have for centuries. The water that the springs do produce is polluted by nitrates. This pollution fuels the growth of toxic algae blooms, which are taking over springs and the rivers they feed, thus putting our health at risk. Over 90% of our drinking water gushes out of these sapphire pools. These glorious reservoirs have begun to shrink. If something is not done soon, the springs will simply become part of Florida history. In southern Florida they already have. Springs once bubbled up all across the state. They were wiped out in South Florida decades ago by the ditching and draining of the landscape as well as over-pumping of the aquifer. This water was then sprayed on suburban lawns and farmers' fields, run through showers and flushed down toilets, turned into steam to crank turbines for electricity, or siphoned into plastic bottles for sale around the country. Because of poor use and neglect of our greatest resource, we will soon be without this supply of fresh water. Floridians regard their water supply as abundant and cheap, when the fact is it's neither. Until this attitude changes, the springs will not be rescued. Now Playing
The gel is made up of two main ingredients that are cheap and common – cellulose, which comes from the cell walls of plants, and konjac gum, a widely used food additive. Those two components work together to make a gel film that can absorb water from the air and then release it on demand, without requiring much energy.
Gov. Gavin Newsom is asking Californians to voluntarily cut back on water consumption by 15% compared with last year as drought conditions worsen and temperatures continue to rise across the western United States. The governor on Thursday also expanded his regional drought state of emergency to apply to 50 California counties, or roughly 42% of the state’s population. If achieved, a voluntary 15% water reduction statewide would save roughly 850,000 acre-feet of water, which is enough to supply 1.7 million households for a year, according to the governor’s office.
As an extreme drought grips California, making water increasingly scarce, thieves are making off with billions of gallons of the precious resource, tapping into fire hydrants, rivers, and even small family homes and farms. State and local officials say water theft is a long running-issue, but the intensifying drought has driven the thefts to record levels as reservoirs dry up and bandits make off with stolen water, often to cultivate the growth of illegal marijuana crops. As officials move to crack down on the thieves, the drought -- which now covers every corner of the state -- threatens to create long-term impacts as climate change exacerbates the hot and dry conditions, creating a vicious feedback loop that becomes harder to break. "All of California has to get used to this concept of water scarcity," West said.
In May 2010, Rulindo, Rwanda launched an ambitious plan to bring access to water and sanitation services to the entire district population. This film explores the story, challenges and ultimate success for reaching over 330,000 people with safe water in the rural and mountainous Rulindo District, and how this project is inspiring sustainable water (infrastructure and sanitation) models around the world. Now Playing
A historic agreement sets aside what was destined to be a protracted legal battle between the Navajo Nation and the state of Utah over rights to water in the Colorado River. With that agreement comes nearly $220 million in funding for the Navajo to provide drinking water to 40% of the tribe in Utah that lacks access to clean, running water.
After spending 22 years and $100 million navigating a thicket of state regulations and environmentalists' challenges, Poseidon Water is down to one major regulatory hurdle - the California Coastal Commission. The company feels confident enough to talk of breaking ground by the end of next year on the $1.4 billion plant that would produce some 50 million gallons of drinking water daily. Andrea Leon-Grossmann, director of climate action for the ocean conservation group Azul, says better alternatives include conservation, repairing leaky pipes, capturing storm water runoff and committing to more recycled water.
Filmed across France, California, and Texas, the film traces the history of civilization's quest to procure abundant water and energy — from ancient Roman aqueducts in Europe to modern America’s vast hydroelectric infrastructure. In the modern world, water and energy are the two fundamental components of a society, and they are interconnected. The film explores our dependence on water for energy as well as the huge vulnerabilities in our current systems, exacerbated by climate change. The documentary is adapted from Dr. Michael E. Webber’s book Thirst for Power: Energy, Water, and Human Survival. Past Presentation
Despite an appeal by Gov. Gavin Newsom for all Californians to voluntarily cut water use by 15%, Southern California has lagged in conservation efforts and even increased water consumption slightly in Los Angeles and San Diego, according to newly released data.
"Testing by The Guardian and Consumer Reports found high levels of potentially harmful PFAS in Pittsboro, North Carolina, and regulators have struggled to keep pace."
Millions of people in the US are drinking water that fails to meet federal health standards, including by violating limits for dangerous contaminants. Latinos are disproportionately exposed, according to the Guardian’s review of more than 140,000 public water systems across the US and county-level demographic data.
San Diego is at the end of the pipeline when it comes to importing water from the Colorado River and the Sacramento Bay Delta. So it’s no surprise its costs have exceeded those of Los Angeles and other parts of Southern California.
“We know what the issue is, we know what the health effects are, we know how to deal with it,” he added. “It really comes down to political will."
On the banks of Louisiana, fierce Indigenous women are ready to fight—to stop the corporate blacksnake and preserve their way of life. They are risking everything to protect Mother Earth from the predatory fossil fuel companies that seek to poison it. The film follows water protector Cherri Foytlin in the swamps of Louisiana as she leads us on a no-nonsense journey of indigenous resistance to the Bayou Bridge Pipeline (BBP), which is an extension of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). The pipelines are part of an ongoing legacy of colonization and slow genocide. At the heart of the struggle is a battle between people and profit. Now Playing
A historic drought across the U.S. West is taking a heavy toll on California's $6 billion almond industry, which produces roughly 80% of the world's almonds. More growers are expected to abandon their orchards as water becomes scarce and expensive. Almonds are California's top agricultural export. The industry ships about 70% of its almonds overseas, fueled by strong demand in India, East Asia and Europe, according to the board. "All of this increase in almonds and this increase in water demand, it's been done at a time when there's virtually no increase in water supply," said David Goldhamer, a water management specialist at the University of California, Davis. "The water embodied in the production of those almonds is being exported out of this country."
Lauren Sloss describes her experiences sailing throughout California's Delta, one of the state's main water sources.
The current administration is rolling back crucial protections for streams and wetlands across the country in a direct assault on the Clean Water Act. This incredibly beautiful film tells the story of the rivers, streams, and wetlands of Alabama to illustrate the dangers of the proposed regulation. By doing so, it shows the economic benefits, ecological health, and cultural way of life that hang in the balance. The director hails from Miami, Florida, with a strong passion for environmental advocacy. With a degree in Editing, Writing & Media from Florida State University and a background in environmental journalism, he intends to make documentaries to inspire protection wildlife and our natural resources. Now Playing
NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. (AP) — A stretch of Southern California beach was closed Monday to swimmers and surfers after up to 50,000 gallons (189,270 liters) of raw sewage spilled into nearby waters, authorities said. The Orange County Health Care Agency said a blocked sewer line at a restaurant in Newport Bay caused the leak of untreated sewage, the Los Angeles Times reported. The waters on the west end of the bay will remain closed to swimming, surfing and diving until the results of follow-up water quality monitoring meet acceptable standards, the agency said. This spill comes less than two months after a sewage main in Carson failed, spewing millions of gallons of waste into the Los Angeles Harbor and fouling beaches in Long Beach and elsewhere in LA and Orange counties.
Experts believe that one reason for the deaths is that the Indian River Lagoon, a 156-mile estuary along Florida’s Atlantic coast in whose warm waters manatees forage every year, has lost tens of thousands of acres of sea grass. Water quality has worsened for years because of runoff from fertilizers, sewage and septic leaks, increasing algae blooms that kill the sea grass, said Jaclyn Lopez, Florida director for the Center for Biological Diversity.
One Day We Will Dance with You tells the story of two women creating a dance to celebrate water. They imagine dance moves, and argue about science and whether a celebration can still be sad. As the community around them comes together to dance, they begin to imagine a future where the Water Molecule Dance and the celebration of water becomes a part of all our lives. Now Playing
The scale of disappearing ice is so large that the losses on Tuesday alone created enough meltwater to drownthe entire US state of Florida in two inches, or 5cm, of water. Ice that melts away in Greenland flows as water into the ocean, where it adds to the ongoing increase in global sea level caused by human-induced climate change.
Floating in the bottom of the Grand Canyon last spring, I was traveling back in time in more ways than one. In a narrow section, where the Colorado River runs deep and quiet, Vishnu schist offers a window onto the world as it was here 1.7 billion years ago, give or take a couple of hundred million years. Little about the redrock walls seems different from when I first marveled at the scenery as I rafted past many years ago. But for the water that carries travelers through the national park, the changes have been dramatic even though they’ve occurred over just 31 years and barely amount to a tick in geologic time. It used to be that the big problem was managing so much water on the Colorado.
The satellite images are stark, and their ramifications run deep, experts said — from dead lawns and fallow fields to ecological peril and worsening wildfires. Some said they probably represent a new normal for a Golden State gone brown.The lake’s water level probably will keep dwindling, said John Yarbrough, the Department of Water Resources’ assistant deputy director of the State Water Project.Yarbrough said California typically receives the majority of its annual precipitation between early December and the end of March, so the situation is unlikely to improve for several months, if not longer.“This lack of stored water as a result of the West-wide drought has multiple cascading impacts,” he said, “including dramatically less water for our farms and communities, more stress on our electricity grid and increased wildfire risk.”
The fashion industry is responsible for up to one-fifth of industrial water pollution in the world and much of this is from the chemicals used to dye clothes. Many dyes used in clothes are carcinogenic and in large quantities can make river water toxic to aquatic life.
Twenty minutes outside of Visalia, amidst the seemingly endless rows of citrus trees, Yolanda Cuevas packs enchiladas with shredded chicken for her husband Benjamin, their adult daughters and two teenaged grandchildren in her modest single-story home. Their house is the first one off the main drag, one of 83 lining the two crumbling roads that comprise the tiny town of Tooleville. Yolanda must wash the tomatoes for the salsa first in the sink and then again with a splash of clean water from a 5-gallon jug. The process is arduous, and though she’s resigned to do it, she’s not happy about it. Along with Tooleville’s several hundred other residents, Yolanda’s family has survived on bi-weekly delivery of water to their homes for the past 12 years. It’s an annoyance for the family, and it’s expensive for the State of California, which has been paying for the replacement water since the discovery of Chromium-6 (the same chemical featured in Erin Brokovich) in the water. The simpler solution would be to consolidate the town’s water system with that of its larger, affluent neighbor to the west, Exeter. And for this purpose, Yolanda has become a reluctant activist, attending community meetings in Tooleville and lobbying for consolidation at Exeter’s city council meetings under the expert guidance of Pedro Hernandez, an organizer with the Leadership Counsel. While Exeter has resisted the consolidation since it was first proposed, organizers like Pedro feel that this could be the year Exeter finally succumbs to the growing community pressure and brings Tooleville into the fold. The decision will echo around the Central Valley and across the state, as hundreds of similar community water systems find themselves in a nearly identical predicament. Now Playing