28 water films offer from the Centre for Science and Environment

Posted: 18 August 2004

Water is the driver of life, it's a resource, which binds or divides us, and it's a resource where cultural boundaries are broken. In light of this, the Delhi-based Centre for Science and Environment has produced a compilation of 28 films on best practices from across the world to find a solution to the global 'water crisis'.

Each one of these films has been carefully chosen to provide the right combination of experiences from India and abroad.

Whether you are a corporate, an educational/training institute, an NGO, a government agency or a concerned citizen, these films can be used to disseminate critical knowledge about water and to create greater awareness about the need to manage water better.

The list of the films and their prices appear below:

1. CHANGING CURRENTS: PLUMBING THE RIGHTS PART-1 (Changing Currents Series) (Also available in Hindi)26 Minutes . VHS/VCD . Rs 750 / US $25Focuses on the issue of water as a common property and a right that is indistinguishable from the right to life. The film documents local communities from India and South Africa striving to maintain this right in the face of official opposition.

2. CHANGING CURRENTS: LAND OF THE RISING WATER(Changing Currents Series)26 Minutes . VHS/VCD . Rs 750 / US $25Examines Japan's success in urban water management to tackle floods and conserve the country's wetlands. Also offers community initiatives like rainwater harvesting that could show the way.

3. CHANGING CURRENTS: TELL TALE SIGNS (Changing Currents Series)26 Minutes . VHS/VCD . Rs 750 / US $25Climate change and its impact on the availability of water is the subject of Tell Tale Signs in Orissa in India and Mozambique in Africa. The film puts forth a strong case for communities and official agencies to work together to adapt to changing climate.

4. CHANGING CURRENTS: BOILING POINT (Changing Currents Series)26 Minutes . VHS/VCD . Rs 750 / US $25Conflict on sharing of the waters in the Okavango river system in Africa, the Rio Grande in North America and West Bank in water-starved Middle East. The need of the hour, as hydrologist Peter Ashton points out in the film, is to "balance" all concerns, but is anybody listening?

5. CHANGING CURRENTS: PUMPING PRESSURE (Changing Currents Series)26 Minutes . VHS/VCD . Rs 750 / US $25This short film documents the plight of mining affected people in South Africa. Gujarat, India where communities have found new ways to catch rainfall. Water scarcity has forced farmers to innovate.

6. CHANGING CURRENTS: TUNNEL VISION26 Minutes . VHS/VCD . Rs 750 / US $25Dutch filmmaker Joshka Wessels spent two years making Tunnel Vision. Wessels has recorded the revival in Syria of a system of underground irrigation that started to fall into disuse at the time of the Roman occupation. The Qanats are a membrane of tunnels starting again to supply water to farmers in this arid country. In the Gulf it's called the 'fallaj'. It is believed the Persians invented the system almost three thousand years ago. A case of back to the future?

7. CHANGING CURRENTS: DAM DAM DAM26 Minutes . VHS/VCD . Rs 750 / US $25Big dams. Love them or hate them, we have to live with them. Environmental campaigners contend that vast schemes such as the Three Gorges in China or Narmada in India are social and environmental catastrophes in the making. But their backers have a different view. Big dams provide non-polluting energy and control flooding. On the eve of the World Water Forum Earth Report presents the case for and against big dams.

8. CHANGING CURRENTS: PLUMBING THE RIGHTS PART-2: THE RIGHT TO WATER26 Minutes . VHS/VCD . Rs 750 / US $25Is water a gift from God, a human right, or just a resource to be traded like any other? Now the World Health Organisation is using the concept of human rights to help achieve clean water for all and to find remedies for the crisis in governance, which, they argue, denies people their right to life. Earth Report visits communities in Ghana and Bolivia who are now fighting for their rights to water. 9. CHANGING CURRENTS: WATER ON THE BRAIN26 Minutes . VHS/VCD . Rs 750 / US $25Water will be on the brains of thousands of delegates and NGOs gathering for the 3rd World Water Forum in Japan. Many hundreds of thousands are also internet participants via the Virtual Water Forum. In this programme Earth Report features a cross-section of experts, ministers and the people who live daily with the struggle to find enough clean water to survive. What are their expectations for the Forum? Will the world emerge with a do-able plan for meeting the water 'crisis'?

10. CHANGING CURRENTS: NET PROFITS26 Minutes . VHS/VCD . Rs 750 / US $25A staggering one third of the world's protein comes from fish. But 11 of the 15 world's major fishing grounds are seriously depleted. With no slackening in the pace at which the seas are being over-fished, increasingly inland freshwater fisheries are taking up the slack. This programme looks at measures underway to sustain the boom in fish farming.

11. HARVEST OF RAIN (ALSO AVAILABLE IN HINDI) 48 minutes, VHS/VCD . Rs 750 / US $25 Dedicated to India's traditional water harvesting systems. One of the basic principles of water management is simplicity itself - conserve water where it falls. But we tend to chase hydraulic nightmares: big dams and canals. An age-old wisdom lies forgotten. The camera wanders through Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu, recording the profound science of the people.

12. THAR - SECRETS OF DESERT (ALSO AVAILABLE IN HINDI) 52 minutes, VHS/VCD . Rs 750 / US $25 Watch the diverse social and cultural practices which enabled large populations to survive in the harsh Indian desert environment. The villages of Thar, in Rajasthan, have amazing systems of water harvesting. Similarly, the desert farmer has devised an ingenious system to grow and maintain sources of fodder.

13. WATERWORKS INDIA: FOUR ENGINEERS AND A MANAGER (Also available in Hindi)22 minutes, VHS/VCD . Rs 750 / US $25Meet five 'ordinary' people, who have kept the intricate traditional science of water management alive from the modern onslaught. These barefoot Indian rural engineers have been practicing the tradition of water harvesting for quite some time. This film introduces the viewer to the technique and social management practices governing community water management.

14. ARVARI14 minutes . VHS/VCD . Rs 750 / US $25 A major people's movement in rural Rajasthan has revived the river Arvari and its tributaries. Water management techniques have completely changed the landscape and lives in this once-denuded region.

15. A NARMADA DIARY60 Minutes . VHS/VCD . Rs 750 / US $25Denouncing the inadequacy of resettlement and compensation from the massive Narmada Sardar Dam Project, the adivasis steadfastly refuse to leave their land - even if they drown there. A moving record of the adivasi people's continuing struggle for social justice. On the other hand the Government is sheltering behind talk of national gain, India's `necessary sacrifice' for development - but the film asks, development for whom?

16. WATER WARS: GOOD AS GOLDEnglish . 3X50 Minutes . VHS/VCD . Rs 750 / US $25This is a trio of programmes investigating the role of water in power politics, Good as Gold focuses on the United States where water is a highly marketable commodity. The second programme, To the last Drop, the focus shifts to the Middle East where water inevitably raises the stakes within every regional dispute or settlement. The final programme, The Giver of Life, highlights the Islamic heartland of the former CIS where the implications of the Aral Sea's demise are viewed as a catastrophe on a Chernobyl scale.

17. WATER: EVERYBODY LIVES DOWNSTREAM - PART I & II21 Minutes . VHS/VCD . Rs 750 / US $25This BBC Earth Report film uses state-of-the-art graphics to guide the viewer through this intercontinental journey of a symbolic river from source to sea. Interviews with top experts and international decision-makers reinforce the message of the World Day for Water: all the water that we use is second-hand.

18. WATER - EVERY DROP COUNTS26 Minutes . VHS/VCD . Rs 750 / US $25Focus of this short film is on world's most precious resource - water. In Japan, we see how the upkeep of golf courses uses seven times the amount of pesticides used in intensive agriculture. In Lesotho, two new dams are causing major upheaval to the indigenous farmers. In Kathmandu, residents experience the daily threat of contaminated water.

19. HANDS ON 1 - WATER WAYS24 Minutes . VHS/VCD . Rs 750 / US $25The theme is using water wisely. Most of the stories in this film come from the developing world where unsustainable demands on rivers and underground sources are being made. In Malaysia, a model WWF campaign is getting the message through that protecting forested watersheds is the key to keeping streams clean and flowing all year round; in Nepal, ram-pumps are proving popular; in South Africa, children playing on a roundabout pump up water for a nearby vegetable garden; in Greece, water 'cigars' are coming to the rescue of parched Aegean islands.

20. OUR LIQUID ASSETS26 Minutes . VHS/VCD . Rs 750 / US $25The world's wetlands are often treated as wasteland - but as this Global Edition on wetlands illustrates, marshes, swamps and floodplains are important homes for wildlife, sources of freshwater, filters for pollution, and barriers against floodwaters.

21. TO DAM OR NOT TO DAM24 Minutes . VHS/VCD . Rs 750 / US $25Activists and many affected people believe that building dams are bad decisions, and some have even died trying to prove it. This film examines the findings of the World Commission on Dams on the question: To Dam or not to Dam? The Commission spent two and a half years of exhaustive research and intense dialogue searching for the answer.

22. RIVERS OF SAND52 Minutes . VHS/VCD . Rs 750 / US $25The film shows how the people of Mali have been able to fight back the encroaching desert. Water has been brought in from river Niger through pipes and fed into lakes in a hope to provide new life to them.

23. FATE WORSE THAN FLOODS48 Minutes . VHS-PAL/VCD . Rs.750/ US $25Bjørn Vassness's candid documentary on how the designers of the Flood Action Plan (FAP) in Bangladesh failed to consult the local people about their needs leading to widespread death and destruction.

24. THE GREEN DESERTS44 Minutes . VHS/VCD . Rs 750 / US $25A fascinating account of the history of Oman's unique, sophisticated water management systems called 'falaj' and the importance Omanis attach to its upkeep. The 'falaj' is a marvel of civil engineering, creating oasis in the desert.

25. THE HARD EDGE30 Minutes . VHS/VCD . Rs 750 / US $25The film shows the efforts of Southern African nations to preserve the Zambezi river system comprising of lagoons, lakes, wetlands and wildlife preserves.

26. MUCKING UP THE MEDITERRANEAN52 Minutes . VHS/VCD . Rs 750 / US $25Over-development, fishing, relentless dumping of industrial waste and sewage have turned the Mediterranean sea into a breeding ground for diseases. The prospect of cleaning up also looks grim. The film takes a look at this crippling issue of water pollution and its after effects.

27. CHINA ROADSHOW26 Minutes . VHS-PAL/VCD . Rs.750/ US $25This film travels to the forests of the Tibetan Plateau to investigate the role of deforestation and land degradation in the massive flooding that has taken so many lives. The film visits the site of the World's largest dam, at the scenic Three Gorges on the Yangtze river-a controversial project, which aims to control flood waters and generate electricity.

28. DRINKING THE SKY24 Minutes . VHS/VCD . Rs 750 / US $25In Drinking the Sky, Dutch filmmaker Joost de Haas travels first to the wettest place on earth, then the driest. In Cherapunjee, north-east India and to the Atacama desert in Chile. Both places are populated - and therein lie the intrigue: how do you cope with life in the deluge and life in the driest spot on earth? In a film full of surprises de Haas looks at water management in a couple of places where it really matters.

The entire set of 28 films is available at Rs.16,800, US$560 (which is at a 20% discount). The films can be purchased as an entire set or chosen individually. There is an extra courier charge of Rs. 300 or US $150Please note: CSE delivers to most countries in the world. Delivery normally takes 4-6 weeks after receipt of payment. You can send your order and payment (Cheque/Demand Draft) made payable to the 'Centre for Science and Environment' at:Sr Business Development ManagerCentre for Science and Environment41, Tughlakabad Institutional AreaNew Delhi - 110062, IndiaTelephone: +91 (011) 29955124, 29956110, 29956394, 29956399Fax: +91 (011) 29955879E-mail: This is a limited period offer!!