PBS to Air Film on Drought, Water Management

The Chronicles Group and presenting station Vegas PBS announce that beginning this fall, public television across the United States will air the new documentary, "The American Southwest: Are We Running Dry?" The film, which showcases drought and water management, is hosted and narrated by actress Jane Seymour.

Viewers learn about conservation, land use planning, how relentless drought and low precipitation have depleted water levels on vital sources throughout the western United States, such as Lake Powell, Lake Mead, the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta system, the Rio Grande and the Colorado River.

The film was produced, written ,and directed by Jim Thebaut, president, The Chronicles Group, a Los Angeles based non-profit public information/education film production company whose previous project "Running Dry" (2005) documented the global water crisis and shed light on the fact that every 15 seconds a child dies from water-related disease.

In this latest offering, Thebaut interviews policymakers, congressional members, water authorities, Native American leaders, and scientists about the looming crisis. The film includes discourse about vanishing groundwater reserves, potential political battles over water resources, and how water was historically divided.

Interviews with members of Congress include Sens. Jon Kyl (Ariz.), Ken Salazar (Colo.), Sens. Pete Domenici and Jeff Bingaman (N.M.), U.S. Reps. Mary Bono (Palm Springs, Calif.), and Jim Costa (Fresno, Calif.). Gene Whitney, Ph.D., science adviser to President Bush; Timothy Brick, chair of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California; and Pat Mulroy, who as general manager oversees operations of the Las Vegas Valley Water District and the Southern Nevada Water Authority; also were interviewed.

Discussion includes solutions to the water crisis such as desalination, rainwater harvesting, green construction, and individual conservation. The film serves as a wake-up call that the problem deserves urgent attention, but that individual responsibility and collective power may turn the tide.

Funding for the documentary was provided by California Water Association, Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, Southern Nevada Water Authority and additional sources.

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