The documentary film “GROUNDWATER To enact a law for the common good…” makes its Northern Arizona debut at the historic Elks Theater, 117 E. Gurley Street, in downtown Prescott at 7 p.m., on Wednesday, May 17. Following the film, a diverse panel of water experts and the filmmakers will take audience questions and engage them in a creative, solutions-oriented conversation on local and regional water issues.
The 26-minute documentary, told with humor and through moving interviews, was produced, directed and written by acclaimed filmmaker Michael Schiffer (of “Colors”, “Lean on Me”,and “Crimson Tide” fame). It tells the true and inspiring story of the contentious battle among farms, cities, and mines in the late 1970s, which led, against all odds, to the passage of the celebrated 1980 Groundwater Management Act (GMA) – Arizona’s most significant step in safeguarding its water resources.
Kathleen Ferris, Senior Research Fellow at the Kyl Center for Water Policy at Arizona State University, who also produced the film, will moderate the post-screening audience discussion. Ferris was involved in the GMA’s negotiations, supervised its drafting, and is featured in the film. She previously served as executive director of the Arizona Municipal Water Users Association and director of the Arizona Department of Water Resources.
Quad-Cities community members are invited to bring questions to the event, such as: How can the Quad Cities and surrounding communities reach water supply security? What could happen to monthly water bills in the future? How can Arizona and local communities protect water for the environment, such as the Verde River? What measures should the state legislature be considering to update the GMA? These issues impact quality of life, as well as the health of local economies.
Distinguished panelists include:
• Tom Buschatzke, Director, Arizona Department of Water Resources
• Greg Kornrumph, Manager-Water Rights, Salt River Project (SRP)
• Sarah Porter, Director, Kyl Center for Water Policy
• Thomas Thurman, Chairman, Yavapai County Board of Supervisors
• Doug Von Gausig, Director, Verde River Institute and Mayor, Town of Clarkdale