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Sustainable water advocates, Rep. George Miller to premiere water war film
by Dan Bacher
Monday Aug 6th, 2012 9:35 AM
"This is our chance to tell the real Delta story,” said Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, executive director of Restore the Delta, which produced the documentary. “This film reveals how powerful forces are using fear of flooding and earthquakes to make a case for transforming a unique, beautiful, productive region into a permanent way station for water going somewhere else."

Photo: Representative George Miller, who will be appearing at the film premiere, and 11 other Northern California Representatives have called for a delay in the Bay Delta Conservation Plan to build a peripheral canal or tunnel.
george-miller.jpg
george-miller.jpg

Sustainable water advocates, Rep. George Miller to premiere water war film

by Dan Bacher

"Over Troubled Waters," a documentary about the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, will premiere Wednesday, August 8 at the Crest Theater in Sacramento. U.S. Representatives George Miller and John Garamendi will join hundreds of sustainable water policy advocates at a news conference prior to the film premier, the centerpiece of a public education effort to stop the building of peripheral tunnels.

In what Restore the Delta describes as a "visually rich documentary," Ed Begley Jr. narrates the story of how the people of the Delta are fighting to protect the region they love and to encourage saner, sustainable water policies for all the people of California.

“This is our chance to tell the real Delta story,” said Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, executive director of Restore the Delta, which produced the documentary. “This film reveals how powerful forces are using fear of flooding and earthquakes to make a case for transforming a unique, beautiful, productive region into a permanent way station for water going somewhere else. They are trying to shore up an outdated water system with a massive, multi-billion dollar water transfer project that Californians will be paying for decades.”

Media availability will start at 6:00 p.m., while the film screening will begin at 7:00 p.m. at the Crest Theater, 1013 K St., Sacramento.

The film premiere follows a July 25 protest by over 300 people, including fishermen, environmentalists, family farmers, and a large contingent of members of the Winnemem Wintu, Pit River, Hoopa Valley and Miwok Tribes, challenging the announcement by Governor Jerry Brown and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to fast track the plan to build the peripheral tunnels around the California Delta. (http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2012/07/27/18718385.php)

During a press conference at the California Natural Resources Agency Building in Sacramento, Brown announced his plan for the construction of two peripheral tunnels that would take water from three intakes on the Sacramento River near Courtland and Hood to deliver water to corporate agribusiness on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley and southern California water agencies.

"You can’t restore an estuary hemorrhaging from pollution and lack of flow by stealing more fresh water from it," said Bill Jennings, executive director of the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance (CSPA). "That’s a death sentence for the Delta."

Caleen Sisk, Chief and Spiritual Leader of the Winnemem Wintu Tribe, emphasized that California Indian Tribes are covered under the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which declares that the indigenous people must give their "free, prior, and informed Consent" for the use of the waters downstream from their historic homelands.

“We have not given our "Free, Prior, and Informed Consent" for the California Governor to divert water destined to the estuary or US Government to build the Shasta Dam higher,” said Sisk. “These are 'rights protected' under the 'UN DRIP' that President Obama signed. I don't know a single tribe that has given their 'Free, Prior, and Informed Consent!' Stop the California Water plans to destroy all the salmon, fish, and ground water systems!"

Tickets for the film are still available at the door for a $10 donation.

Senator Lois Wolk, Assembly Member Bill Berryhill, Russ Fisher, of Media Creations and Jason Sturgis of Open Oceans Productions will appear with Miller, Garamendi and hundreds of Delta residents, including farmers and fishermen.

For more information, contact: Steve Hopcraft 916/457-5546; steve [at] hopcraft.com, Twitter: @shopcraft; Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla 209/479-2053, barbara [at] restorethedelta.org; Twitter: @RestoretheDelta.

The creation of Restore the Delta resulted from a series of conversations over six years ago between Gary Adams of the California Striped Bass Association (CSBA), West Delta Chapter, and Dan Bacher on how to unite fishermen, farmers, tribal members and environmentalists to stop the dramatic decline of the Delta ecosystem caused by massive water exports to corporate agribusiness. Adams, Bacher and five others met in an office in Stockton to found the now 7,000 member organization.

Restore the Delta is a grassroots organization committed to making the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta fishable, swimmable, drinkable, and farmable to benefit all of California. Restore the Delta works to improve water quality so that fisheries and farming can thrive together again in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta: http://www.restorethedelta.org.