Writers and artists offer new perspectives on water, with writings and projects that touch on subjects ranging from new water infrastructures to the bliss of bathing.
Water is the chemical matrix required for life, the molecular chain that connects all organisms on the planet. But in the twenty-first century, water may replace oil as the most prized of resources. Just as gas-guzzling SUVs use more than their share of fuel, water-guzzling regions threaten the water supply for the rest of the world. In Water, writers, scientists, architects, and artists consider the many aspects of water, at levels from the microscopic to the global, touching on subjects that range from new water infrastructures to ancient bathing rituals. Water includes a chemist's accounting of the true cost of water; photographs taken inside a city's secret waterways; an urban planner's description of how Toronto, New York, Hamburg, and Seoul have redesigned and rethought their waterfront areas; a conceptual artist's series of water bottles "branded" with various modern credos; photographs of a water-damaged ledger from the 1905 Yukon gold rush; two architects' rethinking of how to collect, divert, and transport water from water-rich to water-poor regions; a philosopher's invocation of the spiritual lessons of water; and photographs of a disturbingly beautiful flooded landscape.