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Albuquerque Filmmaker Says It’s Time to Re-Think Water Conservation in Drought-Stricken Areas

FREE ADMISSION to the film Friday, October 14, at 7 pm

ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO, UNITED STATES, October 13, 2016 / -- The old saw about weather goes, “Everyone talks about the weather, but no one does anything about it.” Albuquerque documentary filmmaker Cheryl Marie Seas does more than talk about the weather, she made a film about it and says that New Mexicans can do more than “wish” for rain!
Her documentary “Wishing for Rain in New Mexico” is chock-full of ideas for people to change the way they view rain and drought. “Instead of being at the mercy of weather, we can be proactive.”
Seas walks the talk, having designed gardens and has been a permaculture site caretaker, as well as involved in sustainability groups. As a property manager for an apartment complex, she designed a keyhole garden for use by the residents. “Can you imagine how much food we could produce just by composting all the organic material from each apartment building?” Seas views the future as one with “green” apartment communities, as well as gardening and sustainability being taught in schools.
Creating this project was so important to her that Seas went back to college at age sixty to learn how to become a filmmaker, after a long and successful career in writing and book publishing. “Santa Fe Community College offers New Mexico students the prime opportunity to learn film and media arts from very talented instructors,” she said. “I loved film school. Gene Mederos [film editing instructor] and Monique Anair [head of the department] not only taught the technical skills, but gave me the inspiration I needed to go ahead and actually make a 68-minute documentary.”
Why make a film about New Mexico and rain? Seas says that she has been an Albuquerque resident for fifteen years, and has fallen in love with the beauty of the state, but is saddened by the annual fires and loss of the forests. “I’ve been watching the drought over the course of my years here, and found that the state is succumbing to desertification.”
Most people believe that weather is something that just happens and we can’t do anything about it, but Seas believes that it is possible to be proactive and actually provide rain an incentive to come to Albuquerque and the surrounding area. “Many times a front with moisture will pass over us, and not drop any rain. I wanted to understand rain and why it falls in some places and not others. Apparently, rain falls in areas already green and healthy. What practices can we do to make sure that rain falls in Albuquerque when moisture is in the air?”
She suggested that some of New Mexico’s water conservation policies need to be revised. “Many people stop watering their trees as a water conservation effort,” says Seas, “which is counter-productive to water retention in drought areas.“ She notes that trees provide a means for carbon dioxide to be converted into oxygen, as well as a means of retaining water capacity in soil. The evaporation from trees rises sto form clouds.
“If the trees die, there’s more drought,” she said, “and it’s a vicious cycle.” Instead, she recommends that homeowners, even those renting out their house, to provide rain harvesting barrels. The water caught from the roof of a 1200 square foot house can provide up to 10,000 gallons a year of rainwater for watering trees and landscape.
Experts in the film offer suggestions on how individuals can indeed affect change in the weather. The experts in the fields of forestry, rainwater harvesting, permaculture, soil science and consciousness explain in the film how each person can contribute to the development of rain in an arid region. The experts also noted that groups of people can collectively affect climate change, but it takes a joint concentrated effort.
Be Sargent, well-known Gallup resident for her community contributions, speaks in the film about permaculture. Be says about declining water resources, “I don’t think that people understand the seriousness of this anywhere in the world.”
The documentary features Albuquerque residents Al Sanchez and Rio Rancho musician Johnny Alston, along with a host of other New Mexicans such as Santa Fe’s Scott Pittman of the Permaculture Institute, writer Heath Haussaman, Benedictine Monk Brother Alberto Pilarca, permaculture expert Peter “Owl” McCabe, soil scientist Anne Meloy, USGS forest expert Craig Allen, singer Linda Sue Boos, drone photographer Ron Loveland, Santa Fe musician Tommy Vigil, and Gallup historian Virgil Smith.
The Albuquerque Film Office is sponsoring a FREE ADMISSION screening of “Wishing for Rain in New Mexico” on October 14, 2016, at 7 pm at the John Lewis Theatre in the South Broadway Cultural Center, 1025 Broadway SE, Albuquerque. The film was an official selection of the Gallup Film Festival and received four documentary nominations: best editing, best cinematography, best director, and best documentary feature. Information:

Cheryl Seas Gorder
Seas the Day Productions
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