Friday, 09 December 2016 08:00

Oldman Watershed Council working on new film project

Written by  Stephanie Labbe
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Anna Garleff, senior communications specialist for OWC, speaks to people in attendance at the Lethbridge Public Library, Nov. 23 about the OWC film project. Anna Garleff, senior communications specialist for OWC, speaks to people in attendance at the Lethbridge Public Library, Nov. 23 about the OWC film project. Photo by Stephanie Labbe

Southern Alberta residents had the chance to take a closer look at the Oldman Watershed Council’s (OWC) upcoming film which is currently in the works.

The OWC held an interactive presentation Nov. 23 at the Lethbridge Public Library where the public had the chance learn about the upcoming film. It will portray southern Alberta’s entrepreneurship and diversity via watershed use and communicate where water comes from, where it goes and what happens in between.
Anna Garleff, senior communications specialist for the OWC, told those in attendance she wanted everyone to walk away with three pieces of knowledge.
The first was to have an understanding of the OWC film project and its importance. She wanted people to take away some watershed knowledge and some of its issues. Garleff also wanted people to learn more about the histories of some watershed users.
The watershed covers 25,000-square kilometres with 23,000 being in Canada and 12,000 in Montana.
Garleff mentioned there are more water licences given out than there is actually water in the river.
“None of the Oldman water is potable. That means you can’t drink it anywhere,” pointed out Garleff.
“It’s not safe to drink from a stream — that’s why the Oldman Watershed Council matters and that’s why it matters deeply that you are here.”
This film is going to be used as a signature communication tool for the southwest portion of the province. It is aimed to give people who watch it the opportunity to draw their own conclusions through presentation of the story.
When complete, this film will be 10-15 minutes in length and presented at trade shows, schools, exhibitions, watershed planning and advisory council summits, and municipal, county and provincial government meetings. It will also be used in conservation and environmental arenas.
“We have a mandate from the provincial government to provide independent research and advice to them to reflect back to the government, what the community is saying about what they want for the watershed,” said Garleff.
Being “water testers” isn’t the only goal of the OWC. Its role is to reach out to the public and find out how individuals want their watershed shaped and to take that information back to the government.
As well, OWC officials have been working on a historic timeline that will be published on the website depicting historic impacts on the watershed that will go back 60,000 years.
Garleff said this timeline with photos, information and external links, soon will be published on the OWC website.
She and other OWC officials have been working hard to create land maps that date back 11,000 years and depict the future until 2060. These maps show the impacts on the watershed over that period of time and what it will be like in the future if things are ‘business as usual’.
All of this work has been done to assist with the OWC film project. This information will be used in the film to help people understand the impacts on the watershed and what they can do to help.
“In order to make the film, I had to know: what are the major events; what were the major things; what did we need to know; what were the lessons we learned from the past?” 
Garleff mentioned they still need sponsors to complete the film project.
For more information about the film or to become a sponsor, contact Anna Garleff at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by phoning 1-587-224-3793.

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