a guest post from James Madeiros of Seametrics
Sometimes talking about the global water crisis is like talking about the universe – it is at once so big and so “far away” (from most people who care to talk about it) that it’s hard to get any real idea of its scope or importance.
Documentaries are an exceptional way to bring the world’s water problems to people who can do something about it, which is to say everyone. Reading that by 2030 humanity will need 40% more water than the earth can supply should be jarring, but isn’t for many people. Noting that wars in the very near future will be fought over water is similarly ineffective.
Film is often more compelling, and can help people move past what can be largely explained by denial. A problem like this is so vexing and so terrible that sometimes it must be seen to be accepted and engaged; otherwise it is a natural thing to want to avoid thinking about it.
Last Call at the Oasis is one such compelling film. Directed by Oscar winner Jessica Yu, Last Call exposes problems in water management systems around the world and shows the disturbing effects these choices have on actual human beings. The documentary does not approach the issue as humanity’s inevitable fate, but rather calls on those who can act to do so before the world slips past the event horizon of the ability to make impactful change.
Environmental activist and star Robert Redford’s documentary Watershed is another film that is grabbing attention with its smaller focus on local water awareness issues in the Colorado River system. Although the focus is on a watershed in Colorado, the problems it faces are the same as those troubling watersheds around the world – pollution, overdevelopment, overuse and global warming.
Irena Salina’s 2008 film FLOW takes a hard look at the privatization of fresh water around the world and the dangers humanity could face if (or when) the world’s water is literally owned by a few powerful interests. The question is debated whether water can really be bought or owned. That society pays for it suggests that it can, but the current regime of public utilities also suggests that it is the people who own it anyway and that they are only paying for the service it takes to provide it – for now.
Tapped, made in 2009 by Stephanie Soechtig and Jason Lindsey, is another film that asks the question of whether access to clean water is a basic human right, this time looking through the lens of the bottled water industry. The documentary is a scathing indictment of the business of bottled water, both in terms of the marketing of its product and communities it has broken apart to gain profitable access to what many believe should be free.
Blue Gold: World Water Wars is a bombshell documentary that takes a comprehensive approach to examining the global water crisis. It first shows how the world is threatening this precious resource through various human acts like mining and pollution, and demonstrates how economic and political influences will eventually drive humanity to war over water.
It would seem that a problem that could literally cause war would grab more attention than it currently does, but sometimes that’s why you have to see it to believe it.
James Madeiros writes for Seametrics, a manufacturer of water flow meter technology that helps to measure and conserve water used in farming, water treatment, and manufacturing.
Category: Guest Posts
About the Author (Author Profile)
Creator/Host of Go Green America TV
Jeff (Jf) Davis aka The Go Green Guy is from Maine
Moved to LA to follow his passion as an actor
these days he is still acting, lives in LA with his wife and two boys
an writes about Green Living for his website Go Green America TV
that will soon be a TV show!!
There are no comments yet. Why not be the first to speak your mind.