pencil, copper-carbonate and
cupric-oxide on paper
28cm x 54cm

Click on the image for a larger version and details.

This image was derived from a media photograph of a farm in the southwest of the United States. Water supply previously available for sustaining the farm was diverted to nearby cities. The compensation received by the farmers, for allowing the land to go unused, exceeded the income they previously received form crop sales.
This situation accents the growing crisis surrounding the scarcity of clean water.
Historically, the demise of civilizations has often been linked to problems in the systems for procuring and distributing water. For example, the irrigation practices of the ancient Sumerians contributed to the fall of the Empire of Ur in 2000 B.C., as concentrations of salt in the soil increased over time.(1) About three centuries later, the Maya city of Copan initially thrived, but then paved much of its farmland, forcing farmers to relocate to the surrounding hills. The trees in these areas had been removed; without the root structures to anchor the soil, it was prone to erosion. Crops declined and portions of the city were covered by silt. By 1200 A.D. the population of the city had dropped to zero. (2)
While the parameters of water management in the southwest of the United States clearly differ from those of the historical examples described above, the described delegation of water serves as a warning sign of pervasive flaws in our now global system of resource management.

1 "A Short History of Progress", Ronald Wright; House of Anansi Press Inc., 2004, pgs. 77-79
2 "A Short History of Progress", Ronald Wright; House of Anansi Press Inc., 2004, pgs. 100-101