Segments in this Video

Water Scarcity (04:06)


The U.S. government estimates that by 2025, 60% of the world's land mass (including 40-50 U.S. states) will face water scarcity. This could destabilize the world economy and create a humanitarian crisis. People realize the climate is changing but many species face mass starvation.

Chaco Watershed (04:53)

Nearly one billion people around the world, and 1.7 million in the U.S., do not have access to safe, clean water. George McGraw discusses establishing DigDeep. Darlene Arviso drives a water truck and delivers to 240 clients. Windmills are no longer in operation.

California Water (06:03)

The West has a complicated relationship with water. The California climate is ideal for growing crops year-round; diverted rivers brings water to desired locations. Experts discuss water rights, water management, and watersheds.

San Joaquin River Gorge (06:27)

Ronald Stark discusses delusions associated with water in the Central Valley. Locals and experts discuss the Temperance Flat Dam proposal currently under consideration and its potential impact.

McCloud Watershed (04:10)

The Shasta Dam flooded 95% of the Winnemem Wintu's ancestral lands and cut off Chinook spawning routes. Many salmon runs are on the brink of collapse; tribal members pray for the keystone species. Caleen Sisk discusses water diversion and the importance of salmon.

Water Issues (03:15)

Experts consider California's natural resource infrastructure and water policy; engineers could retrofit city land to capture and store water. Cooperation and respect are necessary to address water problems.

Technological Solutions (03:03)

The Edward C. Little Water Recycling Facility makes five types of usable water from sewer water, reducing local water use by nearly 30%. So-Cal water agencies work to develop drought-proof local supplies. The EPA designates superfund sites, like the San Gabriel Basin. Experts discuss water costs.

Keystone Species (05:39)

Trees are the pillar of a watershed; rapid reforestation efforts benefit the climate and watersheds. Beavers return water to floodplains. They have a symbiotic relationship with salmon that benefits a watershed.

Agriculture (07:35)

Humans use over 70% of the fresh water supply to grow food. Experts in Forestville, create an ecosystem mimic in degraded lands. Locally and globally, urban farming and permaculture are gaining momentum. The Yisrael’s discuss their farm and soil importance.

Growing Soil (08:20)

Savory Institute farms and ranches use grazing herds to reverse desertification and restore the land to grow food. Soil health is integral to the water cycle. Spencer Smith discusses developing polyculture systems. Placing carbon into the soil allows it to hold more water in situ.

Food Choices (07:58)

Consumers can heal the water cycle. New labels and certifications identify farmers that participate in the biodynamics system. CAFOs are responsible for a significant amount of water pollution. Row-crop operations typically use synthetic fertilizers that further degrade the soil.

Water Sustainability (03:40)

California can solve its water problems. Demand has grown to exceed supply in many parts of the United States. Recycled water, storm water capture, and desalination are potential solutions.

Consumer Responsibility (03:50)

Purchasing food can be an intimate experience. Chanowyk Yisrael and his family eat the food that they produce on the farm. Supporting small-scale farmers and wasting less food impacts water sustainability. "How often do you think about your water?"

Credits: Where There Once was Water (04:28)

Credits: Where There Once was Water

For additional digital leasing and purchase options contact a media consultant at 800-257-5126
(press option 3) or

Where There Once was Water

DVD (Chaptered) Price: $169.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $254.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



This is a story about water. A song for the sacred in all of us. A documentary centered on solutions. This is a look at the driest of places - California and the Southwest - and the deepest of spaces - our inner worlds and the stories we choose to tell. We are invited to change our perspective, to rewrite our stories, and ultimately, to heal our broken relationships with the natural world. The choice point has arrived. The old story will bring scarcity. But a new story, one that we can write together, may indeed lead us to abundance and water for all. Only through personal relationship with the sacred can we truly begin to heal. Water is life. Water is love. What can you do, in your life, to be a voice for the water?

Length: 75 minutes

Item#: BVL285098

ISBN: 979-8-88678-638-5

Copyright date: ©2021

Closed Captioned

Performance Rights

Prices include public performance rights.

Not available to Home Video and Publisher customers.