Want some objective, in-depth information about the water situation in Arizona and the Southwest? How about getting involved in raising awareness of what needs to be done to avert a water crisis? We have the water we need now, but what about the future?
Beyond the Mirage is an award-winning multi-pronged project intended to help citizens join the important conversations taking place now about managing this vital resource.
The first prong is beyondthemirage.org, an interactive web site that allows you to explore hundreds of high-quality video clips containing factual information and interviews with water experts. Follow the path of your interest and when you have a story to tell, choose and stack the clips you have selected into a short documentary.
The website makes it easy. Then share your documentary through Facebook, Twitter, or email, getting your personal water story out to your family, friends, and people you know. You can also view the hundreds of stories that already have been created in this platform.
The second prong is an hour-long documentary, “Beyond the Mirage: The Future of Water in the West,” by Cody Sheehy, which takes its viewers on a journey into the fascinating story of drought, climate change, and overuse unfolding across the Western United States, as well as potential solutions offering paths toward water security. It makes it clear that the time to act is now. Public broadcasting stations in Arizona and across the nation aired the documentary in October. Visit beyondthemirage.org to watch the trailer. You can also obtain DVD and Blu-ray discs for your own private screening from the web site.
The third prong is bringing the Beyond the Mirage experience into classrooms through collaboration with Arizona Project WET (Water Education for Teachers). Under the supervision of trained teachers, students can make their own documentaries and share them with their peers. They learn about water and compete for prizes at their own “Oscars” event.
The multi-pronged approach aims to capture the broadest possible audience, enabling everyone to become a water expert and urge our leaders to make wise water choices. The University of Arizona Water Resources Research Center (WRRC) is proud to be a part of the Beyond the Mirage team and is continuing to support and promote the project through our activities and publications. To find out more about the WRRC, go to wrrc.arizona.edu.
From time to time, Water – Use It Wisely features guest bloggers who write about topics related to water and water conservation. Susanna Eden, Assistant Director of the Water Resources Research Center, has been involved in water resources research and outreach for more than 25 years. Andres Sanchez is the Graduate Outreach Assistant for the WRRC and a graduate student in the UA Department of Hydrology and Atmospheric Sciences.