03 November 2011

Bleg: Photos of water projects?

I got this via a mailing list:
While talking with a photographer in search of new projects, I suggested that water management and its environmental, cultural and social implications could be an interesting topic, blending industrial archaeology, environmental history and landscape photography.

I mentioned Alpine dams, irrigation systems in European and Asian rice fields, mountain water canals in Canton Wallis and Baden-W├╝rttemberg. He came up with oasis management in Tunisia and the Persian Qanat system.*

We are now trying to locate the most impressive locations in water management history, as to try to translate this still rather vague idea into reality. Do you think this project is worth it? Which water management systems would you suggest to include? Are you aware of existing projects following similar lines?
Can you suggest any other projects?

* Other responses: "Surely Roman aqueducts are beautiful to photograph. I think there are some Mayan irrigation systems in the Yucatan still visible in spots. It may be less that aesthetically pleasing, but the new pumping station at the 17th Street canal and Lake Pontchartrain is a thing of beauty to residents of New Orleans"

"I suggest considering the Itaipu Dam, and also the enormous amount of conflict and landscape change that is taking place in Brazil, in connection to two large water infrastructural constructions: the diversion of the Sao Francisco river and the construction of the Belo Monte dam."

"San Francisco's water managment thru the Hetch Hetchy pumping system can easily be photographed. Part of this system sits at the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mtns., reaching towards Yosemite National Park on Hwy 120 in Central California. The system carries water from the Mtns. to San Francisco more than 200 miles westward, from the Don Pedro Lake area.

Also, many parts of the California Acquaduct System carrying water from Northern California to San Diego and Los Angeles, almost the entire length of California are easily visible, including Lakes in the Mtns. outside of Los Angeles fed by this water system. Finally, there are many irrigation canals thru Central California that can be easily photographed, servicing the numerous Irrigation Districts, Counties and farm areas within California's Cental Valley. This is just the visible surface of these many programs and projects as expressed thru various facilities."

4 comments:

ron griffin said...

While pretty and even majestic, I find this sort of photojournalism counterproductive in that it underscores old solutions and reinforces errant public thought about what future solutions should look like. This is important. We should start emphasizing pictures of water meters, shocked looks over water bills, rock yards, houses not being built, population not increasing, and streams reaching the sea because of unbuilt dams.

mac said...

Here's an idea, close to home for you: the Dutch 'polder model' of collaborative decision making. Take some pictures of polders and associated infrastructure & explain what this entails. The so-what: in the current world, many areas of economic development require collective action (eg, look at next generation broadband networks and all the associated benefits)- and the Dutch are pretty sophisticated there. They often credit their success to the polder model- necessitated by their situation with respect to water

MD said...

two recommendations are the el Jadida cistern in Portugal and Devil’s Den in Florida (an underground aquifer) – unfortunately I haven’t seen either but I have a notecard at my desk of places I’d like to see…those are two of them

Waster Diffuser said...

The Sepulveda water dam in Los Angeles is pretty interesting, noteworthy in that it's been featured in many dozens of movies - from Transformers to Escape from LA - and commercials

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sepulveda_Dam

Claudius Jaeger
Jaeger Aeration