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Goucher Presents Screening of "The Water Front"

Release date: February 28, 2012

Goucher College will host a screening of The Water Front, a documentary about one community's united struggle for affordable and accessible water, on Tuesday, February 28, at 7:30 p.m. in Kelley Lecture Hall. A dessert reception will follow the screening.

This event is free and open to the public, but all attendees must reserve tickets in advance by logging on to www.goucher.edu/tickets or by calling 410-337-6333.

Set in Highland Park, Michigan, The Water Front begins with the community's descent into a fiscal crisis after the once-prevalent auto industry leaves town. Facing economic collapse, a financial consultant team is hired to pull the town out of crisis. The team turns to the town's water plant, which Henry Ford built in 1917 to support his auto industry, as key to economic recovery. Water rates are raised steeply, and severe measures are implemented to collect on bills.

As a result, Highland Park residents have received water bills as high as $10,000; they have had their water turned off, their homes foreclosed, and are struggling to keep water — a most basic human right — from becoming privatized. The community goes from disbelief to activism, and a small group of determined community leaders emerge to defend their right to affordable and accessible water.

Not just about water, The Water Front touches on the very essence of the U.S. democratic system. The film presents a community in crisis, but it also presents the powerful enactment of local participation in finding solutions to impending problems.

The film also shows what is in store for residents around the world as cities look to update water systems and face increasingly complex issues such as water shortages and the implications of the bottled water industry.

The film raises questions such as: Who determines the future of shared public resources? What are alternatives to water privatization? How will public water systems be maintained, and who can be held accountable?

This film screening is hosted by Bon Appétit, Goucher's food services provider; the President's Office; and the Goucher Environmental Sustainability Advisory Council (GESAC).