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Residents can request screening of ‘Last Call at the Oasis’
by Staff Reports
June 22, 2012 09:30 AM | 1326 views | 0 0 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Through the website Tugg, residents can request a public screening of “Last Call at the Oasis,” the documentary film on the world’s water supply that was privately shown at the Fox Theatre in Midtown in May.

The movie was scheduled to have a public screening May 25 at the Midtown Art Cinema, but it and some other public screenings across the country were cancelled.

Information: visit www.tugg.com/titles/last-call-at-the-oasis.

Here is the Neighbor's May 16 article on the film:

UPDATED: Water supply film calls on residents to act

By Everett Catts

ecatts@neighbornewspapers.com

(UPDATED AT 11 A.M. SATURDAY WITH CANCELLATION OF MAY 25 PUBLIC SCREENING IN MIDTOWN)

“Last Call at the Oasis,” a new documentary film on the world’s shrinking water supply, urges Americans to hit the panic button on how they use the resource on a daily basis.

Opening in select cities beginning May 4 and at film festivals starting May 3, “Last Call” was shown Thursday night in a private viewing at the Fox Theatre in Midtown.

The screening included a three-person panel of Laura Turner Seydel, a Buckhead resident and environmental activist; Elise Pearlstein of Los Angeles, the movie’s producer; and Joe Quinlan, chief market strategist with event host U.S. Trust, a New York-based private bank.

“Water is the world’s most precious resource,” said Quinlan, who lives in New York. “It’s terribly underpriced. Everyone thinks it free. We waste it, so there’s no incentive to invest. We use billions of gallons in New York every day. You can grow an economy without oil but you can’t without water. It’s that simple. We’re running out of it. It’s not just in the Southeast but all over the U.S. and the world.”

Directed by Jessica Yu, “Last Call” is backed by Participant Media, a Beverly Hills, Calif.-based production company that has won two Emmy Awards and one Academy Award nomination for its documentaries, including “An Inconvenient Truth,” “Food Inc.” and “Waiting for ‘Superman.’”

According to the “Last Call” website, as of May 11, the film was to be shown publicly in Atlanta May 25 at the Midtown Art Cinema, 931 Monroe Drive, but that viewing, along with several others listed on the site, has since been cancelled. It was not on the site Friday. Mike Rieman, a spokesman for U.S. Trust, said Friday a future Atlanta viewing date may be announced, but one had not been set.

Quinlan and Grant Boyd, market executive for Georgia and North Florida at U.S. Trust’s Atlanta office in Buckhead, said the statistics on water use should shock residents into changing their habits:

o The U.S. uses about 6 billion gallons of water per day flushing toilets.

o Less than 1 percent of the world's water is fresh and drinkable.

o “Agriculture is a major user of ground and surface water in the U.S., accounting for 80 percent of the nation’s consumptive water use and 90 percent in many Western states,” the United States Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service states on its website.

Boyd, a Milton resident, said water is crucial to him for a myriad of reasons.

“In many cases, it’s important to me because not only do all of us, as residents of [metro Atlanta], understand the importance of water as a fresh commodity and issues around Lake Lanier and the Chattahoochee River, but I’m an avid fly fisherman, and cold, clean water is important to my hobbies and my passion around this sport. But more importantly, it’s important to our clients and who we serve.”

Seydel and her husband Rutherford co-founded the Upper Chattahoochee Riverkeeper and they sit on the board of the Waterkeeper Alliance, a consortium of the world’s more than 200 river and bay keepers. She also is involved with water issues through the Turner Foundation, which her father Ted started. She said a United Nations estimate states the world population will increase from 7 billion today to 11 billion in 2050, and water will be much more scarce then.

Regarding water issues, Laura Seydel said, “We’ve been told these problems are coming, but they don’t realize the problems are here now. In some of our national community, the problems are staring them right in the face. It’s really affecting their health and quality of life. They may have to leave their home. [The film] focuses on [U.S. water issues in] California and Las Vegas.”

Of the film, she added, “I think because it doesn’t just cover cities running out of water but it covers toxins in the water. … There are all these really severe problems with the water quality, the frocking is mentioned. For first-time viewers, for me and people like me it’s not shocking, but there was still a lot of information.

“I didn’t realize Las Vegas was so close to running out of water. There are people who are not on top of the issue because they’re so busy. It’s probably a real slap in the face for them. For us, we’ve got such a great opportunity to get moving and get ahead of the situation and take charge and not end up in a situation these other cities are running into.”

In Georgia, water supply issues have been a priority since 1990, when the tri-state water wars, a series of lawsuits, began. In 1988 the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers proposed that some of Lake Lanier’s water used for hydropower instead be utilized for water supply.

Two years later Alabama filed suit against Georgia to prevent the Corps from using Lanier’s water to supply the state, and Florida followed with its own one. Lanier’s use affects water supply and flow to rivers that feed into both Alabama and Florida, where it impacts water supply and the environment.

In June, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals’ 11th Circuit in Atlanta ruled in Georgia’s favor, overturning a July 2009 decision by federal Judge Paul Magnuson of Minnesota. Alabama and Florida are appealing the ruling.

On a world scale, Quinlan said, if the water supply issue is not addressed soon, wars between countries will be waged over it. A March global water security report by the President’s Office of the Director of National Intelligence suggests the same.

“It’s something that’s not being talked about here in the U.S. … That’s why the movie is so compelling,” Quinlan said. “I’ve seen it five times and it resonates with people. It really gets them thinking.”

Information: visit www.lastcallattheoasis.com.

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