Hidden Costs tells the story of the imminent threat to Mexico’s underwater cave systems. Without a full understanding of the environmental costs, massive development goes full steam ahead, but with what consequences?
The Premise: In the domain of the ancient Mayan civilization, a network of hidden underground rivers sustains all life. Deep beneath the earth in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula lies an enormous reservoir of fresh water, the secret to survival for plant, animal and human alike. It is a world practically unknown to the Maya and other Mexicans, but underwater cave explorers, scientists and hydrogeologists are bringing to light the incredible interconnectivity, value and fragility of this system. But it is at threat. Unchecked development without regard for environmental consequences could lead to the devastation of Mexico’s greatest and most precious resource of all: clean, pure water.
Following visually stunning plumes of dye from a cenote in the heart of the jungle, through labyrinthine underwater caves, under highways, an electrical substation, resorts and finally out to the ocean, our team of experts draw the viewer into this little known world, illustrating the interconnectivity of the caves, and the speed with which a substance – be it harmless or toxic – can disperse through the water and into the sea.
The Style: Like a detective story, new evidence is uncovered at each turn, the dye trace guiding you through the unknown and unexpected. Intercutting expert interviews with never-before seen footage of the impact of development on the Yucatan’s underwater caverns, Hidden Costs reveals the delicacy of this world and the unseen repercussions of development and economic prosperity on the greatest fresh water resource in a country that desperately needs it.
A 1-hour documentary event for television