The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

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


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 mobilizes regular people to build political power to move bold and uncompromised solutions to the most pressing food, water, and climate problems of our time. We work to protect people's health, communities, and democracy from the growing destructive power of the most powerful economic interests.

(202) 683-2500