Watch Desert Wars September 25, 2006 at 8 pm on KUED Channel 7
It’s a story as old as the West itself; a story of water and power. Who has it and who wants it. Competing interests debate how growth, development, preservation, and conservation are at stake in the future of the West.
Desert Wars: Water and the West, a one-hour KUED documentary film by John Howe, explores these pressing issues by looking at the conflicts surrounding the future of the Snake Valley groundwater aquifer in Utah’s west desert and efforts to tap it for Las Vegas, Nevada.
The documentary, narrated by actor Joseph Campanella, with an original score by Vincent Frates, airs Monday, September 25, at 8 p.m. and repeats Wednesday, September 27, at 11 p.m. on KUED-Channel 7.
The weathered landscape of the West has long been surrounded by controversy. Some see a vast wasteland with little political clout.
The story begins in the harsh landscape of Snake Valley, along the Utah-Nevada border, some 300 miles from Las Vegas. Residents have worked hard to make this desert flourish.
Camouflaged under a sea of sagebrush is the lifeblood of the West: water. A large carbonate groundwater aquifer created through millennia lies hidden, only sporadically bubbling to life in springs and oases of green. For small towns like Callao and Partoun, Utah, and Baker, Nevada, ranching and farming are paramount to their way of life.
The growing metropolis of Las Vegas wants part of this water. Proposed groundwater pipelines flowing to Las Vegas could possibly affect not just small towns and ranching communities but also Great Basin National Park, Fish Springs National Wildlife Refuge, and endangered species.
John Howe’s latest film is an extraordinary look at the complex battle for the resource that will control the future of the West.
Desert Wars: Water and the West is made possible by a major grant from the Willard L. Eccles Charitable Foundation.
Free screenings of this program, followed by a discussion, will be held in Delta, Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah, and Elko, Nevada. The Salt Lake screening will be held at The City Library Auditorium, 210 East 400 South, Tuesday, September 19 at 7 p.m. Another screening will be held that same night at 6 p.m. in Delta, Utah, in the Millard County Fair Exhibit Hall. On Wednesday, September 20, at 6 p.m., a screening will be held in Elko, Nevada, at the Western Folklife Center G Three Bar Theater.
Desert Wars: Water and the West airs Monday, September 25, at 8 p.m. and repeats Wednesday, September 27, at 11 p.m. on KUED-Channel 7.
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