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A Gunrun Project


We have to accept that there isn’t enough water for everyone to do everything they want anymore, if there ever was. We have to accept that all water users, including the environment, deserve a say in how to allocate the limited water we have.

− Peter Gleick,

President of the Pacific Institute

What California Can Learn From Saudi Arabia’s Water Mystery

Oakland, California, United States
Text by Nathan Halverson - Reveal, Photographs by Balazs Gardi, April 27, 2015

This article originally appeared on Reveal

A decade ago, reports began emerging of a strange occurrence in the Saudi Arabian desert. Ancient desert springs were drying up.

The springs fed the lush oases depicted in the Bible and Quran, and as the water disappeared, these verdant gardens of life were returning to sand.

Lay Off the Almond Milk, You Ignorant Hipsters

April 17, 2015
Mother Jones

The water-intensive nature of almond milk, of course, is no secret. By law, food manufacturers have to name ingredients in order of their prevalence in the product. For Califia and other almond milk brands, it starts like this: “filtered water, almonds.” Given that it takes 1.1 gallons of water to grow a single almond in California, where 80 percent of the world’s almonds are produced, drenching the finished product in yet more water seems insane.

The Waters Beneath

February 10, 2015
Foreign Policy

In May 2009, a truck rolled through the Sheikh Yasin camp in Mardan, Pakistan’s “city of hospitality,” where thousands of people had fled following one of the country’s military offensives against the Taliban.

If water was a scarce commodity to this refugee community, ice was a luxury. And it was worth fighting for: A single block could refrigerate whatever perishables the displaced had secured for their families.

Thanks to Drought, Spiral Jetty Back Again

Rozel Point, Utah, United States
Shoka Javadiangilani, December 23, 2014

Built by American artist Robert Smithson over six days during a drought in 1970, ‘Spiral Jetty’, a 1,500 foot long (460 meter) and 15 feet wide (4.6 meter) counterclockwise coil made of basalt rock and earth, juts from the shore into the pinkish colored waters of Utah’s Great Salt Lake.

Ashokan Reservoir

West Hurley, New York, United States
Balazs Gardi, December 7, 2014

Ashokan is one of the 19 reservoirs that supply 1 billion gallons of fresh water to the City of NewYork every day.

World Toilet Day 2014

Detroit, Michigan, United States
Balazs Gardi, November 19, 2014

Access to safe and affordable water is out of reach for way too many people in the United States.

Imagine that – even for a day – you lose the running water in your home to drink, cook, bathe and flush your toilet. In Detroit it is the everyday reality of thousands of families whose water has been shut off after falling behind in paying their bills.

Now the UN is intervening in Detroit’s water conflict. Could thirsty cities riot?

October 17, 2014
The Guardian

This intersection of poverty and water access brings to mind the “food desert” (an area underserved by grocery stores). Food deserts have created a public health paradox: without healthy food, the poor are more likely to be obese, relying on corner shops stocked with junk food. The difference is that when it comes to water, there is no alternative – fast food and sugary cereal might be the food desert substitute to fresh vegetables and whole grains, but there is no substitute for water.

California drought creates grim ripple effect

Central Valley, California, United States
Shoka Javadiangilani & Balazs Gardi in collaboration with MSNBC, August 8, 2014

“The very success of a person as a politician is dependent upon resources that come from the people that you give exceptions to” – Michael Machado, farmer and former California State Senator.

After traveling more than 2,000 miles across California, it’s clear that the state’s drought is mired in paradox with decades of water mismanagement and regional fighting. While cities – some of which never installed water meters – struggle to convince its dwellers to conserve, agriculture consumes 80% of California’s water.

National Climate Assessment

May 21, 2014
GlobalChange.gov

The National Climate Assessment summarizes the impacts of climate change on the United States, now and in the future.

A team of more than 300 experts guided by a 60-member Federal Advisory Committee produced the report, which was extensively reviewed by the public and experts, including federal agencies and a panel of the National Academy of Sciences.

“My family is breathing horrible fumes, we can’t enjoy our property and we’re trapped because no one else wants to live here. To protect our homes and our health, we’ve got no choice but to ban fracking.”

− Maile Bush,

Denton, TX resident