The Colorado River’s $26 Billion Economy Recovers as
River Once Again Reaches the Gulf of California
July 19, 2012 – Denver, CO: This could be the headline of the near future if Americans heed the call today and take action to save the Colorado River.
In an effort to engage the arid southwestern United States in the importance of water conservation and river protection, The Redford Center, along with partners Save The Colorado, New Belgium Brewing, Patagonia, and Clif Bar announces a summer 7-city southwestern US screening tour of the documentary film:
WATERSHED: Exploring a New Water Ethic for the New West.
Narrated by Robert Redford and Directed by award-winning filmmaker, Mark Decena of Kontent Films, WATERSHED exposes both the catastrophic threats to the already taxed Colorado River and inspiring character vignettes of those embracing a new water ethic. The film and subsequent community driven screenings are made to engage, inform, and inspire Americans to conserve water and begin restoring the Colorado River so that it once again meets the sea.
The tour will kick-off in San Diego on July 28. Other cities in the tour include Los Angeles, Tucson, Denver, Las Vegas, Phoenix and Salt Lake City. The Redford Center has made WATERSHED available free of charge to anyone interested in hosting a screening. To learn more, visit www.watershedmovie.com.
“If we see the Colorado River as just a river, we are overlooking a natural engine that powers both our economy and our environment,” says Robert Redford. “We want this film to raise awareness to the idea that this river is the canary in the coalmine. If business, government and citizens come together and make some changes, the mighty Colorado can continue to serve us.”
Sweeping through seven US and two Mexican states and over 20 major dams, the Colorado River runs dry before it reaches its natural end at the Gulf of California – 5 trillion gallons of water is drained out of the river each year. Unless action is taken, the river will continue its retreat due to increasing demand and climate change – a potentially catastrophic scenario for the 35 million Americans who rely on the river for their drinking water and the nearly quarter million Americans whose jobs depend on Colorado River recreation.
Having made the film with a grassroots campaign in mind, Redford anticipates WATERSHED will be the entry point for viewers who want to engage and take action to protect and begin restoring the river. Each tour stop will highlight “Calls 2 Action” so that Southwesterners can make a direct impact on the future of the river. Those actions may include:
- Personal water conservation pledges.
- Contacting local water district managers and federal decision-makers in support of stronger water conservation programs in Southwest U.S. cities.
- Contacting federal decision-makers to support a bi-national agreement with Mexico to restore the flow of water to the Gulf of California.
- Making donations to help purchase the water rights necessary to restore the river’s connection to the Gulf of California.
The Redford Center has joined with dozens of leading environmental organizations to foster education and inspire action – each tour stop will be co-sponsored by several local and national organizations that are working in unison to protect and restore the river.
“This film tour offers a great opportunity for people throughout the Southwest U.S. to learn more and get involved,” said Gary Wockner, Director of the Save The Colorado River campaign based in Colorado. “Each of us can make a difference to create a more sustainable future for the river and for our region – we can achieve Watershed success for the Colorado River.”
About the Redford Center
Through hosting and producing outcome-based media and conferencing, the Redford Center believes that art, creativity and social action make for a potent weapon in the fight to create a healthier world for ourselves and the generations yet to come. Film projects serve as demonstrations of art in action. Based in Sundance, Utah.
About the Save The Colorado River Campaign
The Save the Colorado River campaign – led by New Belgium Brewing with support from Patagonia, Clif Bar, Teva, and the Kenney Brothers Foundation – is a coalition of corporations and foundations that works to protect and restore the ecological health of the Colorado River by raising public awareness and by inspiring and supporting non-profit environmental organizations.
About Kontent Films
Founded by Mark Decena, Kontent is full service development and production company housing a collective of award winning filmmakers creating features and short form content, both narrative and documentary.