Communication and Theatre

Tapped Out Explores Global Water Crisis

Water is the basis of life on planet Earth, but from the Gulf of Mexico to the Arctic Circle and beyond, many major waterways and water supplies are threatened by drought, pollution and population growth. Thursday, April 10, PLU and the greater community are invited to view MediaLab’s newest documentary Tapped Out: Unearthing the Global Water Crisis, in the Karen Hille Phillips Center for Performing Arts Studio Theater at 7 p.m. 

Focusing on water-related issues across North America, the film investigates how pressures on water, including drought, floods, population growth, and pollution, are resulting in new and innovative thinking. From Canada to Texas, and from Washington, D.C. to the Gulf of Mexico, the team discovered stories of drought, water mismanagement, and water scarcity in unexpected places.

Kortney Scroger ‘14, a PLU senior communication major who served as the film’s chief videographer and editor, said while the news media almost exclusively report about water scarcity in developing parts of the world, Tapped Out uncovers serious water challenges in North America.

“It’s an attempt to communicate the current status of water and how the developed nations aren’t as prepared as we think that they are,” Scroger said. “We don’t have as much water as we think we do.”

During research and production of the film, the students conducted dozens of interviews, meeting with citizens, farmers, activists, officials from the United Nations, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, and representatives of many other public and private organizations.

Scroger, along with documentary teammates: senior communication major Katherine Baumann ‘14, senior business major Haley Huntington ‘14, and junior Valery Jorgensen ‘15, a communication major, studied water-related topics for more than a year. After the April 10 showing, a panel consisting of documentary team members will discuss challenges and what new and innovated thinking that has come from this crisis. 

The documentary has won several awards since its public debut in October. Most recently, the film won a 2014 Grand Prize Award from the National Broadcasting Society-Alpha Epsilon. In addition, it has won in the Video Documentary category at the 51st Annual National Broadcasting Society Electronic Media Competition, received a 2014 Rising Star Award from the Canada International Film Festival and two Accolade Awards of Merit.

“My fellow filmmakers and I worked hard to make the documentary thought-provoking and influential. So it’s a great feeling to be acknowledged with such a prestigious national award,” said Huntington after receiving the National Broadcasting Award. 

The April 10 showing is part of the 2014 SOAC Focus Series, which brings together SOAC’s talented students and faculty to examine the theme of “entrepreneurship" through a multi-disciplinary approach. The showing is free and open to the public.