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A Gunrun Project


Inanda Dam

Durban, South Africa
Balazs Gardi, November 7, 2013

The Inanda Dam was constructed in 1987 to provide Durban with drinking water. Heavy storms caused the nearly completed dam to fill prematurely, driving hundreds of families to run for their lives. By being forced to leave behind their land and livestock, many lost the only means to sustain themselves. Never compensated for their loss, these impoverished families continue to live in temporary shelters that were provided by the government twenty-six years earlier.

Fata Morgana

Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Balazs Gardi, October 20, 2013

Due to climatic conditions and high per capita income the United Arab Emirates is already one of the largest water consuming countries in the world. Shopping centers and luxury hotels are built with vast and lavish water features. Sprinklers pump desalinated water on golf courses that evaporates before touching the ground while underground aquifers in the region are pumped dry.

Copenhagen’s Unique Line of Defense from the Middle Ages

Copenhagen, Denmark
Balazs Gardi, June 18, 2013

By damming a natural stream in the early Middle Ages a system of lakes were created to serve as a natural defense line and to provide water to the city in the event of an attack. Later, for centuries, the lakes served as reservoirs providing drinking water to Copenhagen.

Colorado River flows through Las Vegas Casino

Las Vegas, United States
Balazs Gardi, May 19, 2013

According to researchers there is 50 percent chance Lake Mead, the nation’s largest manmade reservoir and a key source of water for millions of people in the southwestern United States, will be dry by 2021 if climate changes as expected and future water usage is not curtailed.

Could You Drink Water Piped to Your House Through an Open Sewer?

Karachi, Pakistan
Balazs Gardi, March 1, 2013

Amar Guriro, a Karachi-based environmental journalist, and a WaterAid Fellow, has named Machar Colony “The town of miracles.” As we walk through piles of rubbish surrounding children using the streets as a playground, he explains that surviving here is only possible by the appearance of small miracles.

Machar Colony is built on land reclaimed from the sea. Where mangroves once grew, migrant workers settled down slowly and filled the swamp with literally any materials they found.

It Takes 400,000 Liters of Water a Day to Keep a Small Desert Golf Course Green

Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Balazs Gardi, January 4, 2013

Looking down from a helicopter parts of Dubai look just as green as pastures in Scotland. Golf courses connect the various housing projects wrapped with artificial lakes and landscaped gardens, the Greens, the Meadows, The Lakes, The Jumeirah Islands.

With an estimated 350 liters, or a little over 92 gallons, per person per day the United Arab Emirates’ water consumption is among the highest in the world. The water used to irrigate the agricultural fields and keep the meticulously maintained golf courses and public gardens green would at least double this amount.

“A lot of these disposal facilities don’t want to use the most modern technology because it costs more”

− Lorelei Oviatt,

Planning Director, Kern County, California, USA

Central Valley residents tire of receiving L.A.’s urban waste

March 25, 2012
Los Angeles Times

One of the most bitter battles in California is over sludge, the batter-like material left over after treatment plants finish cleaning and draining what is flushed down the toilet or washed down the sink.

Sludge used to get dumped in the ocean — but that was banned in the 1980s because of concerns about pollution.

Tijuca National Park

Brazil, Rio de Janeiro
January 6, 2013

Tijuca is a hand-planted rainforest and the largest urban rainforest in the world. In an effort to protect Rio’s water resources Tijuca was replanted by Major Archer and a handful of slaves in the second half of the 19th century after the original forest had been destroyed to make way for coffee farms.