Tuesday, October 23 , 2018, 9:22 pm | Fair 64º


Free Film Depicts Heist of Water in California

The Santa Ynez Valley Community Action Alliance is co-sponsoring, with Food & Water Watch, a free film screening of the National Geographic documentary Water & Power: A California Heist. 7 p.m. Thursday, May 24, at Standing Sun Winery, 92 Second St., Buellton. Doors open at 6 p.m.

Following the film will be remarks and an opportunity to ask questions with guest Conner Everts, executive director of the Southern California Watershed Alliance and co-chair of the Desal Response Group. Food and wine will be available for purchase at the event.

The documentary uncovers the story of how a handful of water barons gained control of California's most precious resource, while drought and a groundwater crisis left local homeowners with dry wells.

From a 1990s backroom rewrite of the State Water Project through a breaking investigation into illicit transfers of groundwater, the film peels back the layers on a complex world most of us know nothing about and would never question unless our taps ran dry.

Supplying half of the nation’s produce, California is the world’s fifth largest food supplier. With the nation's breadbasket at stake, Americans and the world are waking up to the fact that water is the next commodity, and it is rapidly growing more valuable.

Everts is chair of Public Officials for Water and Environmental Reform, and was elected to the Casitas Municipal Water District. He has served as president of the Ojai Basin Management Ground Water Agency and on statewide task forces and committees.

He said his most important work is as an elder adviser to the Environmental Justice Coalition for Water.

Addressing the group about local water challenges will be Alena Simon, Santa Barbara County organizer for Food & Water Watch.

This screening is open to all and is part of the Santa Ynez Valley Community Action Alliance’s One Community Project, and made possible, in part, through funding from the Santa Barbara Gives! project.

— Judi Stauffer for Santa Ynez Valley Community Action Alliance.


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