Pure Clean Water (2023)

Directed by Tony Eva

Is the Cambridge growth phenomenon about to be derailed by a shortage of water? This documentary shows how, as part of a hugely successful public health initiative, the watercourse known as Hobson’s Conduit has for 250 years diverted a natural spring to provide Cambridge with its main source of drinking water. However, demand is now causing springs to dry up, precious chalk streams to disappear, and the iconic River Cam to be badly degraded. Water companies, regulators, businesses, land owners, consumers and the government have overseen a developing groundwater emergency. Can these groups come together to ensure Cambridge has a reliable water supply without further damaging the environment?

Cambridge Film Festival 2023: Film #20

Well, that made me a little upset, hopefully for obvious reasons. Yes, this could have been a YouTube video essay, but there was a definite frisson watching this with other Cambridge residents who were also clearly bristling at whatever has led Cambridge to this situation. Props to the documentarian for not making any Hobson's Choice related puns, by the way. (Incidentally, someone needs to write a book about the grammar, semiotics and wider culture of 'management speak'; it surely is self-imposed to some extent in addition to being some kind of emulation of what one 'should' sound like.)