By Walker Foley
The artwork for Last Call at the Oasis
Drought, famine, disease and war – are these the buzz words of our nightmares, distanced from public perception by vast oceans and foreign lands? Or are they the social products of the rapidly dwindling resource vital to life on Earth?
In many areas of the U.S., the concept of water shortages may seem as foreign as excavating icebergs for potable product. Turn on your tap after all, and the water gods will make it rain. But for those not so blessed, shrinking water supplies in the American Southwest and elsewhere on the globe serve a painful lesson: the tap is running dry.
Jessica Yu’s new film, Last Call at the Oasis, sounds the alarm on dwindling global water resources, and invites Americans to bridge the distance between them and their water.
Through the opening credits water waltzes seductively, teasing the audience with a glittering, circus-spectacle. The circus must end though, and the film must tell its dark tale.
When the Lights Go Out
“Water,” Erin Brockovich begins, “is everything. The single most necessary element for any of us to sustain, and live, and thrive is water.” Speaking of water’s importance, Brockovich draws from her father’s wisdom who warned her, “… in my lifetime that we would see water become more valuable than oil, he said, because there will be so little of it.”
There’s nothing fanciful about the predictions of Brockovich’s childhood memories – the evidence is everywhere. Last Call at the Oasis begins by examining the consequences for the Southwest as climate change, water mismanagement and population growth threaten the long-term viability of the entire region. Having over-tapped the Colorado River, farms are unable to get water for irrigation, while cities struggle to find an electrical alternative to the failing Hoover Dam. Despite the slowdown in agriculture and energy, development (and population) escalates. Read the full article…