A Story of Invisible Water examines the problem of water pollution and drought in the northeastern Chinese province of Hebei. Farmers in Xizhang village claim that for more than twenty years, local factories have polluted the groundwater they use for both drinking and irrigation. According to China's Ministry of Environmental Protection and Ministry of Land and Resources, approximately ninety percent of the groundwater that supplies cities on the North China Plain is polluted. Clean surface water in the region is already perilously scarce, and as demand for water in fast-growing urban areas has begun to outstrip supply, cities have begun to drain aquifers in the surrounding countryside. This has led to a steep drop in groundwater levels and put further strain on local farms. Farmers and environmentalists worry that unless measures are taken to reverse current trends, before long villages like Xizhang will have no accessible ground water at all.
This short film follows thirteen farmers from Xizhang as they attempt to bring a petition to the central government in Beijing to address the pollution of their water supply.