The obvious source of conflict in our film is clear to anyone who hears our concept. We’re focusing on a large city, home of corruption and unrestrained political power – the site of Chinatown. This major city swoops in on unsuspecting small communities hundreds of miles away, snatches up their land and drains their land dry, leaving ecological destruction in its wake. It’s clear here who the bad guy is.
Except it’s not that simple, and more importantly, it’s not limited to California. While we focus mostly on California and its water woes on this blog and in our movie, it’s important to remember that this is not a problem that’s unique to California or Los Angeles. In fact, every major city in the United States imports its water from far away.
Take, for example, New York City. The largest city in the United States has several water sources, but the largest two are the Catskill Aqueduct (completed just three years after the LA Aqueduct) with a length of 163 miles. Its second aqueduct is the Delaware Aqueduct, and runs 85 miles.
Or how about Houston? It’s a unique city in that it implements waste water, but waste water from other cities. So while we applaud Houston for taking steps to recycle and reuse water, we have to shake our head in amazement that said recycled water is imported 250 miles or more. It’s a bit of a mixed bag.
Those are just a handful of examples, but if you live in a major city in the United States, it’s likely your water comes from far away. The reason for this is that even for cities that were built near existing water supplies, growth has often exceeded whatever natural sources were originally present.
So next time you turn on your tap, ask yourself, “Where is this coming from?” If you don’t know the answer for sure, then head to Google. You may be shocked.
So yes, The Longest Straw focuses primarily on Los Angeles and the Los Angeles Aqueduct, but that doesn’t mean that the issues covered in this movie don’t apply for you. No matter if you live in California or Maine, New York or North Dakota, or even Alaska or Hawaii, your water is something to be appreciated, treasured, and conserved.
Do you want to share thoughts on your water’s source? Share your H20 history with us.