Water is life. Increasingly, water is power. Australia’s rivers, rural communities and many Indigenous groups’ way of life are under threat as climate change, a damaged political system, and greed threaten the collapse of a generations-deep way of life. But what if there were other ways?
This documentary follows a year in the life of three key stories across Australia’s Murray-Darling Basin; touching on issues affecting communities from California to Spain, India to South Africa.
We meet the young dairy farming family, a woman at its lead. The Barkindji people on the Darling River; that life-giving force to the Outback, and an environmental disaster in the making. And the ‘water bank’ team in Mildura working on a new model to ensure small-scale farmers can compete with the corporate players forcing the price of water out of reach.
With an engaging, informed host, we look at the challenges these communities face and why it matters to all of us: over-extraction of water, a changed and unpredictable climate, and the privatisation of water. Our host also lives rurally and has a keen eye for the change of the seasons, the climate, the local environment, and water. Over the course of a year (summer-summer) s/he checks in our protagonists, letting their narratives guide us. There is a personal journey for the host here, as well.
But weaved deftly into these stories from across the basin, we will also meet those scientists, farmers and policy-makers already making a difference. The film thus offers positive alternatives to the business-as-usual approach, using cutting-edge graphics to tell the story of one river system, along with a focus on humour and narrative. This film uses the stories of real people, and the change they are experiencing, to increase awareness of the factors at play in water policy and agriculture; the activity destroying ecosystems, livelihoods and ways of life.