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The story of water in Wyoming, climate change, and the profound impact on a dozen states and tens of millions of people downstream.
The story of water in Wyoming, climate change, and the profound impact on a dozen states and tens of millions of people downstream.
122 backers pledged $28,250 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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I started this documentary film a few years ago after I realized how few people in the western states really understand where their water comes from. Or how it's controlled. Or how climate change complicates the story. We tend to think of water like we think of air -- as being free, clean, and unlimited. While it's true that the amount of water on Earth is constant - we can neither destroy it nor create more - it exists by its own set of physical rules. We can build a dam to contain it, but it evaporates (ten feet a year from the vast Lake Mead). We irrigate our crops with it, and it absorbs all the chemicals used to promote growth and kill pests and diseases. Most important, water requires a lot of heat to change states from liquid to gas or from ice to liquid water. This is the process that regulates the temperature of Earth's atmosphere, oceans, and even our own bodies. Water is life; climate is water.

I'm collaborating with the Haub School of Environment and Natural Resources at the University of Wyoming for direction on water research. I've interviewed research hydrologists, state water managers, ranchers, federal water regulators, and a dozen more. I've flown over glaciers, swum in rivers, and I've filmed blizzards and floods and droughts.

I'm producing this film through our family non-profit organization, so donations may be fully tax deductible, depending on whether you accept any of the rewards offered. The big advantage of doing it through a 501(c)(3) is that I don't NEED to make a profit on it -- it's paid for as it goes, and when I'm done I can find the best venue for getting the message out without worrying about paying debts.

I've finished filming and I'm ready to edit. I have a great editor all lined up. I have a motion graphics guy ready to help. All I need is some funding to pay these guys and get it done!

Risks and challenges

With film, there's always the risk of technical issues, rights, permits, and other incidental things getting in the way of the actual project. I've tried to keep it simple and not get bogged down in too much editing wizardry, and have kept up on permits and rights. I don't foresee any problem in finishing the film.
The main risk, of course, is telling a very complex story in a short amount of screen time. But I think I'm good at this; I've talked with the best water experts and I have very supportive, professional film and writing communities here to bounce ideas off.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    A TALL DRINK OF WATER

    Our heartfelt thanks, and an official receipt for this fully tax-deductible donation.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    SNOW MELT

    Our heartfelt thanks, an official receipt for the tax-deductible portion of your donation, and a downloadable copy of the completed film, "Diversion."

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    RIVULET

    Our heartfelt thanks, an official receipt for the tax-deductible portion of your donation, a downloadable copy of "Diversion," and a DVD of our 2004 film about award winning children's author Jean Craighead George.

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    CASCADE

    Our heartfelt thanks, an official receipt for the tax-deductible portion of your donation, a DVD of "Diversion," a DVD of our 2004 film about award winning children's author Jean Craighead George, and a Craighead Institute ball cap.

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    Pledge $2,500 or more About $2,500

    SPRING RUNOFF

    Our heartfelt thanks, an official receipt for the tax-deductible portion of your donation, a DVD of "Diversion," a DVD of our 2001 film "Arctic Dance" narrated by Harrison Ford, a Craighead Institute ball cap, and a flilm credit.
    Images of some rewards can be seen on the Craighead Institute store: http://www.craigheadresearch.org/store.html

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    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    TORRENTIAL RAIN

    Our heartfelt thanks, an official receipt for the tax-deductible portion of your donation, a DVD of "Diversion," a complete set of Craighead Institute's films (Storyteller, Arctic Dance, Don't Fence Me In, and Diversion), a Craighead Institute ball cap, and a film credit.
    Images of some rewards can be seen on the Craighead Institute store: http://www.craigheadresearch.org/store.html

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    Pledge $7,500 or more About $7,500

    WILD RIVER

    Our heartfelt thanks, an official receipt for the tax-deductible portion of your donation, a complete set of Craighead Institute's films (Storyteller, Arctic Dance, Don't Fence Me In, and Diversion), a Craighead Institute ball cap, a film credit with your logo, and a set of Craighead Institute's grizzly bear paw bookends.
    Images of some rewards can be seen on the Craighead Institute store: http://www.craigheadresearch.org/store.html

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    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    THE GREAT FLOOD OF 2017

    Our heartfelt thanks, an official receipt for the tax-deductible portion of your donation, a complete set of Craighead Institute's films (Storyteller, Arctic Dance, Don't Fence Me In, and Diversion), a Craighead Institute ball cap, a film credit with your logo, and a set of Craighead Institute's grizzly bear paw bookends. Also, if you are responsible for your travel to Jackson, Wyoming and accommodations and meals here, I will take you on a full day tour of water issues in Jackson Hole. May include some fishing, swimming, and/or boating. Limit of 1-3 people on tour, at a date TBD.
    Images of some rewards can be seen on the Craighead Institute store: http://www.craigheadresearch.org/store.html

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Funding period

- (20 days)