Though it covers 70 percent of the earth's surface, less than one percent of the earth's water is fresh and potable, making it the most precious, rapidly diminishing resource. The documentary Last Call at the Oasis identifies the global water crisis as the central issue of the twenty-first century. A 2011 report by U.S. intelligence agencies based on water security anticipates that water will become a weapon of war and a tool of terrorism in the post-2022 world.
The West is a microcosm of the effects of drought, fire, consumption and climate change on water for drinking, hydroelectric power, agricultural and recreation. Named the nation's "most endangered waterway," the Colorado River that is the lifeline of the Western United States has reportedly lost 35 percent of its stored water over a 12-year period through consumption and drought, as demand exceeds its supply.
Scripps Institution of Oceanography researchers warn that the Colorado's reservoirs could dry up within 13 years, including Lake Meade, a reservoir pent up by the Hoover Dam outside Las Vegas. The question is not if, but when Lake Meade will go dry.
With the rush to permit thousands of new oil and gas wells in Colorado and elsewhere, water-intensive natural gas mining through hydraulic fracturing demands an ever-greater share of our precious water resource. An average five million gallons of water is used to "frack" each well -- water that is contaminated beyond reuse and permanently removed from the hydrologic cycle. Currently there are over 45,000 active oil and gas wells in Colorado and another 82,000 inactive wells that could be reactivated, notes Shane Davis, oil and gas researcher for the Rocky Mountain Sierra Club.
Oil companies have purchased river rights over time, acquiring substantial holdings of water for future oil and gas drilling. The industry is entitled to stock 1.7 million acre feet of water -- enough to supply metro Denver for six years and to effectively deplete suburban Denver communities of any water for future growth.
What the Frack?! Arapahoe has scheduled a premier showing of "Last Call at the Oasis" the documentary by Academy Ward-winning director Jessica Yu that examines the vital role of water in our lives, presenting insights and solutions to the prospective global water crisis from visionary scientists, policymakers, activists, and environmentalists, including Erin Brockovich, Peter Gleick, Alex Prud'homme, Jay Famiglietti and Robert Glennon.
There will be a guest speaker and discussion of the film.
View the Movie Trailer.