Water & Power: A California Heist explores the truth and corruption behind the California drought. The eighth annual “Ding” Darling Wednesday Film Series continues its biweekly showings on Feb. 5 with a free airing of the documentary at 1 p.m. in the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge Visitor & Education Center on Sanibel Island.

The 87-minute National Geographic film reveals how water barons have found ways to structure a state-engineered system to their own advantage and how small farmers and everyday citizens face a new, debilitating water crisis.

Corporate manipulation in the 1990s, illicit water transfers, and the rise of luxury crops in California have led to the reality that water is the new oil, Water & Power points out. As it becomes less accessible, it is rapidly growing more valuable.

“Ding” Darling Wildlife Society-Friends of the Refuge hosts the free film showings with sponsorship from Sanibel Captiva Beach Resorts. Seating is limited and on a first-come basis.

Below is the full schedule of the film season’s showings. All films begin at 1 p.m. A short discussion follows each film to allow visitors to gain more from their documentary-viewing experience by listening to other people’s points of view and analyzing what they just watched. For full descriptions of the films, please visit dingdarlingsociety.org/articles/lecture-and-film-series.

Feb. 5: Water & Power: A California Heist

Feb. 19: BLUE

March 4: Ghost Bird

March 18: The Swamp

April 1: Bird of Prey


As a non-profit 501(c)3 organization, DDWS works to support J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge’s mission of conservation, wildlife and habitat protection, research, and public education through charitable donations and Refuge Nature Shop profits.

To support DDWS and the refuge with a tax-deductible gift, visit dingdarlingsociety.org or contact Birgie Miller at  239-472-1100 ext. 4, or [email protected].