The first time I ever witnessed any impact of a drought was in summer 2014. What started off as an unassuming trip to the California turned out to be a journey that sparked my interest in the topic of water. I passed by many cities affected by the drought, countless signs urging for water conservation and reservoirs depleted of water. These eye-opening sights stuck with me even after the trip and inspired me to pursue an academic career in water studies.
In the past couple years, California has been experiencing some of the most extreme weathers that changed the local hydrology. As I recalled how the sceneries from my previous trip had impacted me, I decided the best way to tell the story of Californian waters is through photography. Two years after my initial trip, I embarked on another journey to the state to capture the many traces of the hydrological cycle in both the urban and natural worlds.
There are many water processes and uses intertwined with our urban and natural environments. It is always interesting to see how water is used in cities to elevate the urban condition and how artificial systems are framed in the natural setting.
Water seems to have this power to always provide a source of healing and calmness to the human mind. From freshwater lakes in national parks to beaches along the coast, a trip to the waterfront is a must when travelling to the Golden State.
The 5-year drought has drastically changed the state's water landscape and water supplies. Scenes of dried up reservoirs are some the most powerful visual reminders of the fragility of California's water systems, but also some of the most interesting subjects to capture.
Water is arguably the most important natural resource in California. Without water, the development in the State would have never happened, but with the changes in the water cycle, Californians may have to really rethink the way they manage and consume their water resources.
Every time I flip through my album, I am reminded of the beauty of California's water landscape, but very often the most powerful massages are embedded in photos depicting scenes of water shortage. These photos may be records of a personal trip, but hopefully they can also inspire others to do more to protect this beautiful, vital resource.