The Daily Courier Logo
Trusted local news leader for Prescott area communities since 1882
9:50 PM Sat, Sept. 22nd

A critical look at Arizona’s groundwater

Water history documentary and panel discussion on the quad cities’ futurecoming to Prescott

“Groundwater: To enact a law for the common good…,” a documentary telling of how the Arizona Groundwater Management Act of 1980 was passed, will be showing at the Elks Theater on Wednesday, May 17, followed by a panel discussion. (Courtesy)

“Groundwater: To enact a law for the common good…,” a documentary telling of how the Arizona Groundwater Management Act of 1980 was passed, will be showing at the Elks Theater on Wednesday, May 17, followed by a panel discussion. (Courtesy)

On Wednesday, May 17, at 7 p.m., 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.

Following the film, a diverse panel of prominent water experts and the filmmakers will take audience questions and lead a discussion on local and regional water issues.

The 26-minute documentary was produced, directed, and written by acclaimed filmmaker Michael Schiffer (of “Colors”, “Lean on Me”, and “Crimson Tide” fame). It tells the true story of the contentious battle among farms, cities, and mines in the late 1970s, which led, against all odds, to the passage of the 1980 Groundwater Management Act (GMA).

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.

“We really wanted to make this documentary to honor the people who were involved (in the passing of the GMA) and to not let the story of how it happened die, because it’s a pretty fascinating story,” Ferris said.

Quad-City community members are invited to bring any and all questions to this special 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?

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

•   Michael Schiffer, Trustee Professor, Dodge School of Film and Media Arts, Chapman University 

Sponsors of this event are Salt River Project (SRP), El Gato Azul World Bistro, Citizens Water Advocacy Group, Page Springs Cellars, SpringHill Suites Marriott, Friends of Verde River Greenway, Central Arizona Land Trust, Ironclad Bicycles, Jay’s Bird Barn, Partners in Health Care, Naturally & Nature’s Medicinary, Prescott Audubon Society, Granite Mountain Brewing, SyH Coffee, and Robert Israel of Prescott’s Green Realtor.

Tickets are $10. Doors open at 6 p.m. Purchase tickets in advance at www.prescottelkstheater.com.

For more information, visit www.facebook.com/GroundwaterFilmScreeningandDiscussion.

For questions, contact groundwaterfilm@gmail.com.

Information provided by Deb Pastor and Marianne Davis of Pastor/Davis Productions