Nat Geo Water & Power: A California Heist, Director Marina Zenovich says “Chinatown, the documentary”

Marina Zenovich

Premiere, documentary reveals California’s history of water manipulation, on March 14th, 2017, at 6pm PT, 9pm ET on DirecTV

By Gabrielle Pantera

HOLLYWOOD, CA (Hollywood Daily Star) 2017/3/14 – “I decided to make this film because I thought it was Chinatown, the documentary,”  says Water & Power: A California Heist director Marina Zenovich “I’m originally from Central California. I know the issues with water, but I didn’t know them deeply. So I kind of went into this. What I discovered is a lot’s going on that we don’t know about. So with the film, I hope it’s just a call to arms for everyday citizens to see what is happening with our water and how it’s being privatized without us knowing it.”


In Water & Power: A California Heist, Emmy award-winning director Marina Zenovich uncovers the ruthless exploits of California’s water barons, who profit off the state’s resources while everyday citizens endure a debilitating water crisis.

During the drought, Zenovich visits the towns of East Porterville and Lost Hills. Located amid the rich croplands of the San Joaquin Valley, local residents can’t get clean tap water. However, in the corporate agribusinesses near those towns, there’s plenty of water to grow almonds, pistachios and pomegranates.

Despite relief at the surface from recent rains, the state’s groundwater reserves are still at risk, and therefore the future of its fertile farmlands; the farmlands that provide nearly half the country’s fruits, nuts and vegetables.

California has a shady history of water manipulations, evoking the water-rights dispute depicted in the classic movie Chinatown. Zenovich chronicles the creation of a massive water project in the 1960s, to divert the abundant water from northern California south, to the farms of Kern County and to the suburbs of Los Angeles.

A secret deal was made in 1994 by water-using state and local agencies with the agribusinesses that desperately wanted the water. The majority of the diverted water, paid for by the taxpayers of California, was put into the hands of a single massive agribusiness company.

Water & Power: A California Heist is a Jigsaw Productions. Directed by Marina Zenovich. Produced by Ted Gesing, Alex Gibney, Lynne Kirby, Stacey Offman, Erica Sashin, Marina Zenovich, Kevin Tao Mohs and Tim Pastore.

National Geographic is the American digital cable and satellite television channel that is owned by National Geographic Partners. Available to  86,144,000 households in the United States.

Twitter: @MarinaZenovich@NatGeo@NatGeoChannel

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