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A Gunrun Project


Last Week the Capital of the Maldives Lost Its Water Supply

Male, Maldives
Balazs Gardi, December 9, 2014

A fire in Male’s desalination plant left roughly 130,000 residents without water in the capital of the Maldives.

Over the past decade desalinated water replaced stinky and salty well water and harvested rainwater so when Male Water & Sewage Company was suddenly unable to produce and distribute drinking water neighboring countries had to deliver hundreds of tons of bottled water emergency aid to ease the crisis.

Toxic Waste to Replace Pristine Water

Conga Mine, Cajamarca Region, Peru
Balazs Gardi, June 1, 2013

The last place on earth I expected to see a plastic water bottle trashing a pristine landscape was next to Maxima Acuna de Chaupe’s house far up in the remote highlands of the Peruvian Andes. Her family pulls drinking water from a small pond next to their house. The water is always cool and crystal clear.

The contractors building new barracks on the road near her house operate differently. They ride the latest Japanese pickup trucks and drink from plastic bottles they bring in from the nearby towns.

“Plastic bottles have got to go. The bottles take so much energy to make, leach gross chemicals, and last forever. What’s convenient about that, man?”

− Jeff Bridges,

The Dude

Here’s What Half a Ton of Exploding Bottled Water Looks Like

Korengal Valley, Afghanistan
Balazs Gardi, December 22, 2012

A few days after George W. Bush was reelected as President of the United States I stood on a ridgeline surrounded by a hundred US Marines near the Pakistani border in eastern Afghanistan, waiting for the Chinooks to come pick us up. We’ve been in the wilderness chasing insurgents and looking for information about Osama bin Laden. We started the mission with only two days worth of water and food with a scheduled resupply, which hit a snag and only came a day prior to our departure.