WaterView – Until the Last Drop

By: The View Crew
Without enough water, the communities that have blossomed along the banks of the Tuolumne, Stanislaus, Merced and San Joaquin rivers will wither and mostly die.
Without enough water, the salmon that have returned to those same rivers to spawn for millennium might cease to exist.
Is there enough water for both?
“Until the Last Drop,” a feature-length documentary produced by Modesto Irrigation District and Modesto’s Final Cut Media, dives into the issues surrounding the survival of these vital rivers. Videographers went above, beneath and into our region’s rivers and across the fertile farmlands to learn about the problems that both demand and defy solutions.
Making a documentary in the midst of a pandemic has been challenging. But videographers, editors and graphic artists have been putting the finishing touches on the feature-length film, now in post-production with an expected release around Labor Day 2020.
From university laboratories, to the Sierra Nevada, to Valley orchards and to skyscrapers overlooking San Francisco, “Until the Last Drop” follows award-winning journalist Mike Dunbar as he conducted dozens of interviews of many of California’s preeminent river scientists, forward-thinking farmers, informed conservationists, and water-use experts .
Dr. Jay Lund, head of the UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences and an engineer by training, sees solutions where others too often see only conflict. Assemblyman Adam Gray, the only elected official whose district includes all four rivers, wants to confront the state’s demands by meeting the needs of all, not just a select few.
In the midst of a blossoming almond orchard, farmer Janie Gatzman explains how her trees will help raise her family. Dwain Zack, a walnut grower from Escalon, demonstrates the hydrogen chamber he hauls from row to row that tells him whether his trees are happy or thirsty. Julie Rentner, president of one of the state’s preeminent conservation groups, River Partners, shares the promise of restoration at Dos Rios Ranch Wildlife Refuge, where the Tuolumne River meets the San Joaquin.
Dunbar also talked to irrigation district officials, scientists working on the river every single day of the year, and to those struggling to negotiate an agreement that will let farmers share enough water to help fish species without destroying their livelihoods.
“Until the Last Drop” uncovers a true commitment to finding the best solutions using the best science to preserve these rivers while also protecting the Valley farms that help feed California and the world.



Posted in: community, news, outdoor

About the Author:

Chris Murphy is the President and CEO of Sierra Pacific Warehouse Group and Publisher and Founder of ModestoView Inc. Chris worked globally in the cycling industry returning to Modesto in 1996. He is also the founder of the Modesto Historic Graffiti Cruise Route, Legends of the Cruise Walk of Fame, Modesto Rockin’ Holiday, the Modesto Music History Organization and co-founder of the Modesto Area Music Association. Chris is married to his artist wife Rebecca since 1985 and has two daughters Madison and Abigail, both graduating from Modesto High and UC Berkeley. He is lead singer and guitarist for his band, Third Party that donates their performances to non-profits.