By Mother Nature Network | March 30, 2012 10:58 AM EST
To raise awareness of the water crisis facing populations of the western United States, Robert Redford has teamed with his son Jamie to produce "Watershed," a new environmental documentary focused on the plight of the Colorado River system.
REUTERS Robert Redford speaks at the opening news conference at the Egyptian Theatre during the first day of the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah January 19, 2012.
"The watershed issue is something that's happening all over the world, where the need for water is greater than the amount of water to provide for it," Robert Redford told Reuters. "I think we're picking the Colorado River as an example of what's going on with watersheds all over the world and trying to focus on that and draw attention to it."
Spanning over 1,400 miles, the Colorado River travels through seven U.S. states, serving some 40 million people in and around the watershed. While the flow ends in the Gulf of California, Redford points out that most of the water never makes it that far due to demands from irrigation, reservoirs and municipal use.
The film, produced by Jamie Redford and narrated by his father, will tackle these issues — along with the history and bleak future should policies fail to result in necessary changes.
"With population in the region expected to reach 50 million by 2050, temperatures rising and precipitation patterns becoming more erratic, demand will outpace supply unless we embrace a new water ethic," Redford says in the film.
Like other documentaries before it, the Redfords are leveraging the film as a tool to raise awareness and gather public support behind water conservation measures. As a recent press release states, Redford will even supply free copies of the film to anyone willing to host a viewing party.
"The Colorado is one of the most iconic natural landmarks of the American West and it's facing unprecedented demands on its water, a resource historically taken for granted by those of us who have enough," says Robert Redford. "Films like 'Watershed' are a necessary part of the solution. Raising awareness of the problem is a first step. Engaging the masses in taking action comes next, and in this case action means conservation."
To learn more, visit the official website or view the trailer below.