Colorado River basin: ‘Watershed — Exploring a New Water Ethic for the New West’ premiers today in Washington D.C.


The film is available for anyone to host a screening. Here’s the release from the Redford Center and Kontent Films via PR Web:

In honor of World Water Day, the Redford Center and Kontent Films are pleased to announce the World Premiere of WATERSHED: Exploring a New Water Ethic for the New West at the Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital on March 24, 2012 at the National Museum of American History at 3 pm. The film will be introduced by Robert Redford and will be followed by a panel discussion on the urgency of the problem in the Colorado River Basin and what can be done. Panelists include:

– James Redford, Producer of WATERSHED
– Mark Decena, Director of WATERSHED
– Sandra Postel, National Geographic Freshwater Fellow
– Osvel Hinojosa Huerta, Director of Conservation for Pronatura
– Edith Santiago, Colorado River Delta Project Manager for Sonoran Institute

Narrated by Robert Redford and Directed by award-winning filmmaker, Mark Decena, WATERSHED tells the story of the threats to the once-mighty Colorado River through heartening character vignettes that reveal a new water ethic as well as 21st Century solutions.

Sweeping through seven US and two Mexican states and over 20 major dams, the Colorado River is a lifeline to expanding populations and booming urban centers that demand water for drinking, sanitation and energy generation. The river also faces significant demands from the Agricultural Sector. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, 70% of the Colorado River’s water is used to support $45 billion in agricultural crops, a yield that equals 20% of America’s Agricultural output. Combine this demand on the Colorado River with population growth, current energy demands and climate change and an unsustainable picture emerges. As of today, the Colorado River already runs dry before it reaches its natural end at the Gulf of California. Unless action is taken, the river will continue its retreat – a potentially catastrophic scenario for the millions who rely on its availability.

“The Colorado is one of the most iconic natural landmarks of the American West and it’s facing unprecedented demands on its water, a resource historically taken for granted by those of us who have enough,” says Robert Redford. “Films like WATERSHED are a necessary part of the solution. Raising awareness of the problem is a first step. Engaging the masses in taking action comes next, and in this case action means conservation.”

Having made the film with a grassroots campaign in mind, Redford anticipates WATERSHED will be the entry point for viewers who want to engage. Promoting personal water conservation pledges of 5% – symbolic of the small amount of the rivers’ flow required to reconnect the river to its delta – and garnering donations to help purchase the water rights necessary to restore the connectivity, WATERSHED will serve as a central tool in a larger effort. The Redford Center has joined leading environmental organizations in the US and Mexico to foster education and inspire action.

”The content and timing of this film are of critical importance,” said Francisco Zamora, director of the Sonoran Institute’s Colorado River Delta Legacy Project. “Our work in the Colorado River Delta over the past decade has demonstrated that the Delta is very resilient and that even a little additional water can make a dramatic difference. The Delta will not continue to come back to life, though, without the kind of community awareness and support Watershed will engender.”

The Redford Center is making WATERSHED available to anyone interested in hosting a screening. To learn more, visit

More Colorado River basin coverage here.

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