The Oldman River, it plays an important role in the everyday lives of residents in Lethbridge.
However, what do we really know about this body of water that runs through the city?
Anna Garleff has made it her mission to answer that question. She was challenged by the Oldman Watershed Council to find a unique way to educate people on where their water comes from, where it drains into and what happens to it in between.
She decided the best way to get the message out was through film. “It is about community building. It is about raising awareness that we are all downstream. That whatever we do in one part of the Watershed affects people in the other part of the watershed,” she said.
The film, which has been named ‘The Oldman Goes to Hollywood’, is a project the Council hopes will inspire people to want to think before they drink. “The goal is to get people involved,” said Garleff.
“If people don’t take that next step in their own behaviour and their own choices, in getting involved in the processes that are occurring that are impacting the land and the water, those voices aren’t being heard because no one is speaking up.”
The total cost of the project is estimated to be anywhere from $30,000 to $50,000 dollars, with the city of Lethbridge contributing $5000. Once the film is completed it will be free and accessed online.
Councillor Jeff Carlson says it gives the city the opportunity to show the vital role it plays in the Watershed process. “What great bang for the buck. For that amount of money we get to participate in this project, which can be accessed by all of southern Alberta not just our residents,” he said.
With water shortage expected to be a serious issue worldwide in the coming years, Garleff says the film takes on even more significance. “This is a fantastic opportunity for us to be leaders in the area and show our expertise. Bring the science forward, so people can make more informed decisions about what they do,” she said.