The Owens River flows for over 180 miles through the arid reaches of eastern California, gathering water from alpine peaks that reach above 14,000 feet in the Sierra Nevada and White mountains, as it meanders and cuts its way through one of the deepest valleys in the contiguous United States. Its cold, clear, spring-fed waters support innumerable plant and wildlife species as it courses through portions of the Great Basin desert, as well as incredibly robust populations of wild rainbow and brown trout.
In addition to its undeniable ecological importance, the river also doubles as a lifeline for the greater Los Angeles metropolitan area, and regularly provides up to half of the growing region’s water supply. Needless to say, the question of how to properly manage the beautiful, surreal landscape created by this river and the towering, snow-covered peaks that feed it, is a constant subject of controversy, particularly while in the midst of California’s ongoing exceptional drought.
In the face of oncoming water shortages, and in an effort to help address this dilemma for ourselves — both as parties dependent on the water the river provides, and stewards of the land it traverses —Zangs Films set out to experience and document just a slice of what this charismatic watercourse has to offer.