‘Day Zero’ (the title of this piece) refers to the water crisis in the City of Cape Town, South Africa. Poor water management and changing hydrological cycles due to climate change nearly led Cape Town to become the first major city to run out of water. A sobering reminder of how tenuous the world’s relationship with water truly is.
This piece attempts to touch on many aspects of water scarcity/security. The pattern on the surface is a micrograph of a water droplet drying - both beautiful and emblematic of the water scarcity issue. The mirrored base pulls in the surrounding environment, reminding us that water is inextricably a part of all aspects of our daily life. Between the two is an infinity mirror reflecting the fact that our infinite supply of fresh water is in fact an illusion.The ubiquity of water:
60% of our bodies are water. Water is utilized in just about every industrial and agricultural process. 70% of the world’s surface is covered by water. Yet only 3% is fresh water and only 1% of that is actually usable. Currently, there is enough fresh water on earth to sustain humanity. Unfortunately, water scarcity is still a reality and a growing global concern. The World Economic Forum has consistently placed ‘water security’ on its Top 5 Global Threats. Water is intrinsically tied to poverty, hunger, disparate education levels and overall standard of living.
Water scarcity can be thought of in two forms: physical water scarcity - a result of inadequate natural water resources needed to supply a region's demand (think many sub-Saharan African countries), and economic water scarcity - a result of poor management of the sufficient available water resources (think Flint, Michigan or First Nations communities in Canada).