“We Are Protectors”: Writers, Artists, and Photographers on Water

World Water Day, which falls on March 22 each year, is about recognizing water as a finite resource and taking action on water issues. Here are a few writers, artists, and photographers publishing work that comments on or celebrates this essential source of life.


A visual message on water protection

The blogger at In Loving Resistance encourages readers to submit photographs of friends and loved ones holding messages of resistance on current issues and events, including a response to the Trump administration’s attempt to remove climate change information on the US Environmental Protection Agency’s website. Below, contributor Kate shows her support for the protection of water.

Photo of Kate at In Loving Resistance

A bibliophile’s love for the sea

At Beach Books Blog, Anna Iltnere celebrates her two passions: books and the sea. She has a growing collection of books and essays dedicated to the ocean and experiments with photography, quote collecting, and short meditations on the sea.

Photos by Beach Books Blog.

I approach many parts of my life with a belief in non-linear. And I think it’s the only way how to approach the sea. Even the coastline is not a definite line, it’s more of a relationship between the sea and the land, ever-changing, never fixed.


Desalination and the opportunity for water diplomacy

Israel now gets over 50 percent of its domestic water from desalination. At nonprofit magazine Ensia, Rowan Jacobsen explains how one of the world’s driest countries now has more water than it needs.

Just a few years ago, in the depths of its worst drought in at least 900 years, Israel was running out of water. Now it has a surplus. . . . Driven by necessity, Israel is learning to squeeze more out of a drop of water than any country on Earth . . .


Water wars, illustrated

In “After Water,” an illustrated longread about water, politics, and family from 2015, journalist Susie Cagle tells the story of East Porterville, California, and what happens to agriculture when the last drop of water is gone.

Illustration by Susie Cagle

California’s trouble with water is not strictly an issue of supply, but also one of priorities. Though little blood has been spilled, the nation’s water wars have arguably been some of the fiercest and most pivotal in shaping our modern communities, and in no place has that clash been as hot as in California.


A poetic response to the water crisis in Michigan

In a “Letter from Flint to Lansing” at Vox Populi, Christine Rhein writes a poem in response to the ongoing Flint water crisis, in which residents of Flint, Michigan, have been exposed to high levels of lead in their drinking water due to poor treatment. Here’s an excerpt:

Watch their faces while they wait.
Think about their future,
all the heating pots of water,
the miles and miles of pipe.


Water as photographic subject

On a site for her master’s project, Rebecca Cleal showcases images of water, from underwater portraits in the Pacific Ocean to photographs where water itself — mesmerizing and beautiful — is the star.

Photo by Rebecca Cleal

Rumination on the self at sea

At LoneSwimmer, Irish writer Donal Buckley reflects on open water swimming and the ultimate freedom of the sea in “In The Depths, The Stars.”

I can’t understand the ocean by looking at it from the shore. I have to see it from inside. From inside myself and inside the sea.


A show of support for Standing Rock protectors

“But we ARE Protectors, we carry that into our everyday actions . . . ” The activist at Hecho En L.A. shares an account of the Dakota Access Pipeline protest march, in solidarity with Standing Rock protectors, at the Rose Parade in Pasadena this past January.

Photo by Hecho En. L.A.

In its wake: it will destroy Indigenous land, pollute drinking water, and it will not end there.


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March 22, 2017Environment, Political Commentary, ,