/ Modified apr 7, 2016 3:05 p.m.

Dive deep into the water shortage gripping the west on Arizona Public Media

Beyond the Mirage: The Future of Water in the West premieres April 15 on PBS 6

Beyond the Mirage spot Arizona Public Media presents Beyond the Mirage: The Future of Water in the West, a film by Cody Sheehy and a production of the University of Arizona College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the Water Resources Research Center.

TUCSON, AZ – March 23, 2016 – A water crisis has California in headlines across the country, but the untold story is that a water shortage is dogging all of the states in the Colorado River Basin. Is this the last year of a 15-year drought, or the 15th year of a 50-year drought?

Seeking to shed light on this daunting challenge, Arizona Public Media (AZPM) proudly presents Beyond the Mirage: The Future of Water in the West, a film by Cody Sheehy and a production of the University of Arizona College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) and the Water Resources Research Center (WRRC). Beyond the Mirage premieres on April 15 at 9 p.m. on PBS 6 and will re-air throughout the week. Visit azpm.org for a complete schedule.

Beyond the Mirage: The Future of Water in the West reveals new technologies and challenges old ideas through interwoven stories that connect the Colorado snowpack to the bright lights of Las Vegas; presents the challenges facing and competition between the desert cities of Arizona, California and Nevada and potential solutions being developed in Israel and China.

Beyond the Mirage: The Future of Water in the West is the documentary component of a multi-media effort to engage people of all ages in water sustainability with the goal of making everyone in Arizona a water expert.

“Right now our leaders are making decisions about the water shortage that’s gripping the southwest. All the states that are connected to the Colorado River and that are in the arid southwest region are faced with a growing gap in our [water] supply,” said Sheehy. “It’s very important that everyone become very sophisticated about these complicated issues so that we can hold our leaders accountable and demand the solutions that work for us and our communities.”

Additional outreach efforts include an educational plan that integrates relevant curriculum into the classroom, and an innovative web experience beyondthemirage.org that inspires users to create and share their own mini documentaries about water.

Beyond the Mirage was chosen over 20 other teams for its innovative digital outreach strategy as the winner of The New Arizona Prize: Water Consciousness Challenge, a highly competitive philanthropic contest. The New Arizona Prize is an initiative of the Arizona Community Foundation, Republic Media and Arizona State University’s Morrison Institute for Public Policy. Beyond the Mirage became the first recipient of the award in 2015, committing to engage the public in the reality of water in the southwest.

Beyond the Mirage is a collaborative project between AZPM, CALS and the WRRC at the University of Arizona.

“We are proud to partner with CALS and WRRC on this important project, the message behind Beyond the Mirage affects everyone in our region,” said AZPM Director & General Manager Jack Gibson. “Through the documentary, AZPM is in the position to help continue to get the critical issue of water sustainability in the west in front of an even larger audience.”

Media may request an advanced copy of the full documentary or to schedule an interview with the director or executive producer please contact Jessica Stephens at jstephens@azpm.org.


Cody Sheehy, Producer/Director
Cody Sheehy, is an Emmy® award winning filmmaker responsible for the creative vision of the overall Beyond the Mirage project. Sheehy has successfully produced documentaries all over the world, from the steppes of Mongolia, the Australian outback, to the jungles of Costa Rica. His films, which have focused on natural resources, the environment and the people who are connected to them, have aired on PBS affiliate stations across the United States. His unique ability to tell this story stems from his long passion for science. He holds a Masters of Science in Range Ecology, is a published author in scientific journals and has worked closely with academics from around the world for more than a decade.

John Booth, Executive Producer
With a 30+ year career in broadcast journalism, John Booth has worked in all aspects of production, including videography, editing, directing and producing. His body of work includes national PBS programs such as The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour, Frontline and Nova. Booth has also produced and written documentary programs including: Sinking the Lusitania; Occupied Japan and episodes of The Great Lodges of the National Parks and Great American Railway Journeys. Booth’s work has earned him multiple awards including Tellys, CINEs, a Chicago International Film Silver Hugo Award, several regional Emmys® and two NHK Japan Prizes.

About AZPM
AZPM is a member-supported media organization serving all of Southern Arizona. AZPM has six public television channels and three radio stations, including PBS 6, PBS Kids and NPR 89.1. AZPM produces local content from its digital studios on the campus of the University of Arizona and is provided as a community service and educational resource. AZPM was awarded the 2015 Overall Excellence Emmy (Rocky Mountain Region). More information about AZPM, including program schedules and Video-on-Demand offerings, can be found at azpm.org.

Arizona Public Media® and AZPM® are registered trademarks of the Arizona Board of Regents.

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