Roman Polanski’s classic film Chinatown centers on a key issue in Los Angeles politics – water. And more than 30 years since the movie’s release, water is still one of the biggest issues in California. Given the economic climate, it might seem like saving water pales in comparison to dealing with the ongoing mortgage crisis or reducing the state’s debts. But water and how it gets to farms, homes, and cities in California is tied to economics and politics in a number of ways.
Non-profit journalism project Spot.us asks the community to support journalists to report specific stories. Recently, the site uncovered a story about a San Francisco Bay Area group that got the local government to allow the reuse of graywater to conserve water and help survive California’s drought. Learn more about graywater use in California from this KOSU report about Catalina Island.
And California’s water issues are just , uh…a drop in the bucket compared with the global demand for the stuff:
The 2004 film “Thirst” featured on PBS’ POV examined water politics and the idea that clean water could soon be a commodity as valuable as oil, both in the U.S. and abroad.
In “The New Economy of Water” the filmmakers discuss water privatization:
“In the best cases, more efficient operation has allowed people without access to be hooked up to centralized water systems. But the problem remains that those cities, states, and nations with the biggest water problems and the strongest incentives to privatize are often the least prepared to deal with the many potential problems of water privatization.”
PRI’s The World reported this month that just one less toilet flush per day can save over a thousand gallons of water per year.
What’s happening in your community to conserve water? The following TED talk shows one way a new type of portable filter can take dirty water and make it usable again: