Whether you're gazing past the breathtakingly formidable vistas of the Grand Canyon or rafting into the churning white-capped waves of the Colorado River's world-famous rapid, Lava Falls, it's easy to forget that a major water crisis is looming—especially when you're taking everything in eye-popping 3D on an IMAX screen. Narrated by Robert Redford and backed by stirring music from the Dave Matthews Band, Grand Canyon Adventure: River at Risk combines rousing river-rafting action with the complex history of America's most iconic river to draw attention to global water issues.
In this moving narrative that's part river adventure and part clarion call, famous river advocate Robert F. Kennedy, Jr and author/anthropologist Wade Davis are joined by their two teenage daughters—Kick Kennedy and Tara Davis—as well as Shana Watahomigie, a Native American of the Havasupai tribe and the first member of her tribe to become a National Park Ranger and river guide. With its fragile ecology fractured by damming and made worse by water-wasting flood-irrigation farming practices, thirsty desert utopias such as Las Vegas, and global climate change, the Colorado River is a pale shadow of its former magnificence.
"You own [the Colorado River] and it's being stolen from you by private interests," said Kennedy at a press conference on Wednesday. "You don't drain the pond to catch the fish and that's what we're doing now."