“Thirst for Power” World Water Day Screening

Water and energy are the two fundamental components of a society, and they are interconnected. Educating students on the world’s energy resources, how they contribute to our daily lives, and the consequences of wasteful practices is critical to shaping a more resourceful world. 

The city of San Antonio, for example, has a great history of sustainability and energy conservation efforts, recently even announcing its plan to be carbon neutral by the year 2050. Their consistent push toward a clean energy future makes them a leading city in the nation for sustainability practices. This is why Smart Energy Education and the Watt Watchers of Texas were proud to recently partner with the City of San Antonio, CPS Energy, Itron, Inc., and the San Antonio Water System (SAWS) to provide a free, in-person screening of the energy and water documentary Thirst for Power for over 300 San Antonio area high schoolers at The Tobin Center for Performing Arts.

Thirst for Power, shot on location across France, California, and Texas, explores the history of civilization’s quest to procure abundant water and energy — from ancient Roman aqueducts in Europe to modern America’s vast hydroelectric infrastructure. The film explores our dependence on water for energy as well as vulnerabilities in our current systems. Changing the way we think about water and energy can secure the long-term sustainability of both precious resources. The documentary combines anecdotes and personal stories with insights into the latest science of energy and water, and identifies a hopeful path toward wise long-range water-energy decisions and a more reliable and abundant future for humanity.

In celebration of World Water Day, the March 25th screening event focused on the history of water resources, the connection between water and energy – otherwise known as the water-energy nexus – and its contribution and influence on our modern-day lives. Prior to the start of the event, students had the opportunity to play a series of interactive Kahoot games to test their water and energy knowledge. The event was then kicked off by Mayor Ron Nirenberg, followed by the documentary screening, and culminating with a panel of local students moderated by Dr. Michael E. Webber, Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin and author of Thirst for Power. The event concluded with a call to action and words of inspiration for the future from the CEO and President of SAWS, Mr. Robert R. Puente.

According to the United Nations world water development report 2021, throughout the past century, the global use of freshwater has increased by a factor of 6 and will likely continue to grow by about 1% each year. These statistics prove that we, as parents and educators, need to emphasize water sustainability education. Education on water and energy is more critical now than ever before; Smart Energy Education contains world-class energy education resources available to educators, families, and communities all around the world. So even those who are unable to make it to live events can still access fantastic learning resources to use at home or in the classroom. 

As we say at Smart Energy Education; “The way we manage energy and water will define the century”. So with education, collaboration, and innovation we can inspire and help create a more resourceful world.