By Yoos, Cam on March 23, 2020.
A non-profit group of southern Alberta landowners believe it is important for people to know where their water actually comes from, and to coincide with World Water Day 2020 on Sunday, the Livingstone Landowners Group has released a new documentary video on the sources of Canada’s prairie rivers.
“Finding Water: Healthy Land, Healthy Stream”, is a visually stunning and deeply informative exploration of the headwaters of the Oldman River on the eastern slopes of the Canadian Rockies. The 25-minute documentary film is both a celebration of some of the most beautiful streams to be found, and a cautionary warning about their vulnerability to our use of the surrounding land.
“We think of water as something that comes from a stream,” says Kevin Van Tighem, narrator and landscape ecologist. “And it does, but it also comes to the stream and our water security – how clean it is, how bad the spring floods get, how cold and abundant our summer water supply is – depends on how it gets there.”
Filmed and edited by videographer Yvan Lebel, the new film features never before seen underwater images of westslope cutthroat trout and Alberta’s provincial fish, the bull trout, both of which are classified now as species at risk. With contributions by fisheries biologist Lorne Fitch, Tighem, and groundwater hydrologist Cherie Westbrook, the half-hour film takes viewers beneath the surface of mountain streams, high above the foothills of the Rockies, and deep into the story of the living waters that sustain the area.
The Livingstone Landowners Group is comprised of private property owners who take land stewardship seriously. Their concern about land health extends to thousands of square kilometres of public land that Albertans have.
“Our members have been heavily involved in government land-use planning efforts for the Livingstone and Porcupine Hills region over the past few years,” says Bill Trafford, president. “It became clear that a lot of land users are unaware of the impacts our activities have on healthy streams and water security.”
“Finding Water: Healthy Land, Healthy Stream”, was produced with the help of a grant from the Alberta Land Stewardship Centre’s Watershed Stewardship Grant Program, and extensive voluntary and in-kind contributions from members of the Livingstone Landowners Group. The documentary can be found online on youtube.com.