World Water Day
Seventy-one percent of the earth’s surface is covered in water, but only 0.007 percent of the planet’s water is available to fuel and feed its eight billion people. Despite highly visible water crises—like the high lead levels in Flint, Michigan, and scarcity within the Navajo Nation—the quality and safety of drinking water are often taken for granted. Today, on World Water Day, the United Nations urges us to advocate for the sustainable management of freshwater resources across the globe.
In our new exhibition, The State of Water: Our Most Valuable Resource, Guggenheim award-winning photographer Brad Temkin continues his longstanding attention to our relationship with nature—how we appreciate and accommodate it, and how it accommodates us. Temkin’s pictures celebrate ideas in water and wastewater engineering design, showing the inventiveness in architecture and infrastructure necessary to meet our needs and to accommodate nature.
We are accustomed to the immediate flow of water out of a faucet or a fountain, initiated by an easy turn of the knob or push of a button. But in truth, that water has taken a much longer and complicated journey to reach us, having traveled through a vast network of systems that most of us will never see.
Brad Temkin’s photography puts visitors face-to-face with the systems and techniques that deliver our most valuable natural resource. In doing so, the exhibition encourages us to see water conservation as a process we can all get involved in.
“In showing people the beauty in water treatment and reclamation, my work invites the viewer to ask their own questions and become more aware. . .These pictures are a gateway towards having more people understand water’s vital importance, leading them to support its reclamation and sustainability.”
(Above Images: Brad Temkin, Floating Shade Balls, Los Angeles, California, 2018; ink on paper, 20 x 25 inches; Courtesy of the artist.; Brad Temkin, Aeration Discs, Los Angeles, California, 2017; ink on paper, 25 x 20 inches; Courtesy of the artist.; Brad Temkin, Baffle Ring, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 2017; ink on paper, 25 x 20 inches; Courtesy of the artist.)