Airs: 9pm Pacific Time on National Geographic (6pm Pacific on Direct TV)
Water & Power: A California Heist is an acclaimed new documentary film from National Geographic featured at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival. This thrilling investigation uncovers the high-level corruption behind California’s long-standing water crisis. Sweeping cinematography of California’s harsh, dry landscape asks us to visualize a fight for water in what feels like a modern day Chinatown. The movie includes interviews with PCL representatives and counsel for PCL (Rossmann and Moore) in its successful challenge to the environmental review of the Monterey Amendments to the State Water Project.
Filmmaker Marina Zenovich peels back the layers of California’s convoluted water structure—wealthy water barons show their guilty hand in exploiting the state’s resource, while small farmers and neighboring towns endure debilitating drought. We see luxury crops, like almonds, on the rise and groundwater contamination increasing tenfold, pitting backroom business dealings against human and environmental costs.
This cleverly orchestrated exposé takes us into the stark realities of small California towns, where paying for showers is the norm—bringing light to the growing divide between water haves and have-nots. This natural resource is only growing more valuable as the new war for water is already upon us. This daring and extremely timely documentary asks us to question who has control of our access to our water.