Haunting Photos That Imagine the Effects of Our Freshwater Crisis

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National Geographic reports that although nearly 70% of the world is covered by water, our freshwater supply accounts for only 2.5% of that amount. “In essence, only 0.007 percent of the planet’s water is available to fuel and feed its 6.8 billion people.” They estimate that by 2025, 1.8 billion people (two-thirds of the world’s population) will live in water-scarce areas due to wasteful use and climate change.

Georgia photographer Ansley West captures the crisis surrounding our freshwater supply in her ongoing series Seven Rivers, first spotted on Co.Design. “The photographs are not aimed at documentation but rather the depiction of unseen changes occurring on all rivers,” West explains on her website. “The constructed images I make on each negative show the possibilities and effects of industry, global warming, agriculture, power and the unquenchable demand for fresh water. We stand at a precipice in the history of water. How we approach the health and use of our rivers now will determine the life span of fresh water.” Take a closer look in our gallery.

Photo credit: Ansley West

Photo credit: Ansley West

Photo credit: Ansley West

Photo credit: Ansley West

Photo credit: Ansley West

Photo credit: Ansley West

Photo credit: Ansley West

Photo credit: Ansley West

Photo credit: Ansley West

Photo credit: Ansley West

Photo credit: Ansley West