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A Gunrun Project

There are problems with our water. Everywhere around the world. You cannot fix them until you know they exist.

Not until you understand them.

Azdarya is an online documentary magazine that brings stories to you about this complex global threat. It is going to be an unexpected journey. Drift with us.

History

Balazs Gardi has tracked the water crisis since 2004. Photographing how water has profoundly affected people’s lives, he’s reported from dozens of countries about natural and man-made disasters. Over time patterns emerged making it clear to him that conflict over water has become one of the biggest threats humankind has ever faced.

With the aim to plot the magnitude and complexity of this issue he established Facing Water Crisis, an independent project featuring the stories and findings from his travels. As the problem exceeds one person’s capabilities and requires more than unilateral communication, Azdarya is the next step in exposing the very real struggle ahead over water.

Balazs Gardi & Shoka Javadiangilani Founding Editors

We’ve worked on many journalistic projects independent of each other for nearly two decades. Always with the hope of changing things for the better. Some success, many disappointments. Undeterred we continue to hunt for new ways to cultivate active communities around pressing social issues. Azdarya is our new experiment. An attempt to create a vital hub around this single critical subject: water.

Introduction

I crossed rivers that enabled ancient civilizations to flourish and witnessed famine and mass migration caused by long-lasting droughts. I watched slum dwellers build their own improvised water networks and followed children deprived of education spend their days fetching water for the entire family. I saw the deadly effects of water contaminated by lead and other heavy metals on refugees and talked to fathers who are forced to spend most of their income to buy polluted water knowing it made their families regularly sick.

We invent sophisticated medications to extend our lifetime yet more people die from waterborne diseases and lack of sanitation than all armed conflict on Earth every year.

With innovative technologies, we develop filtering systems to make seawater and sewage drinkable while, in the name of empowering the economy, we relentlessly pollute our environment with toxic chemicals at a horrific scale.

For most of us it is common sense that access to safe drinking water is a basic human right but we still see the business elite convert this vital natural resource from the public commons into a tradable commodity.

By bringing these realities to light Azdarya attempts to raise the alarm, that unless we change our destructive habits, we risk not only catastrophic consequences but also the survival of humanity.

- Balazs Gardi