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February 19, 2009
4:51 PM

CONTACT: Food & Water Watch

Rachael Richardson, Food & Water Watch (917) 733-0434
Kate Fried, Food & Water Watch (202) 683-2500

Food & Water Watch-Sponsored Film The Water Front Screens in NYC

Documentary Exposes the Effects of Underfunded, Neglected Water Systems

NEW YORK - February 19 - Food & Water Watch, a national consumer advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C., today sponsored a screening of The Water Front, a documentary film highlighting the negative effects of aging water systems and a Michigan community's struggle to defend its water rights.

The Water Front illustrates the challenges facing cash-strapped communities in today's harsh economic climate when, confronted with aging water systems, many choose to sell their water utilities to private companies. Privatizing water systems often creates more problems than it actually solves. Private water utilities charge higher rates than municipalities and drive up costs while neglecting service. In fact, research by Food & Water Watch shows that publicly owned and operated water utilities offer better service at a lower cost than their private counterparts.

"The Water Front is the story of a community's effort to maintain access to a vital natural resource in the face of poverty and deteriorating resources," said Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food & Water Watch. "It serves to illustrate the dire importance of maintaining funding for water infrastructure systems in Michigan, the United States and around the world."

Following the screening, Liz Miller, the film's director, spoke to the audience about water privatization and security issues. Miller also announced the winners of The Water Front Remix Contest, which challenged sound artists to remix the movie's title track, "Mr. Waterman," by Detroit area bluesman Joe L. Carter. They are:

  • First Prize: "Joe L. Carter-Mr. Waterman" by dance music producer, DJ Mokji
  • Audience Favorite: "Mercy Mix" by Arnell Newman
  • Montreal Favorite: "March of the Waterman" by Dino Emilio Giancola


"Each submission was a work of art," said Miller. "2009 marks the 50th anniversary of Motown. The sounds of Detroit have long inspired musicians and sound artists; with this contest they now serve as a powerful medium to educate people about water-how this seemingly simple resource is often loaded with political complexities.

Food & Water Watch is a nonprofit consumer organization that works to ensure clean water and safe food. We challenge the corporate control and abuse of our food and water resources by empowering people to take action and by transforming the public consciousness about what we eat and drink.

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