Why One Photographer Is Devoted To Capturing America’s Disappearing Rivers

grand canyon

“We stand at a precipice in the history of water,” photographer Ansley West Rivers writes in her artist statement. “How we approach the health and use of our rivers now will determine the lifespan of fresh water.”

Rivers — whose rather perfect name is not lost on anyone — has devoted her recent life to capturing photographs of America’s disappearing bodies of fresh water. She’s an ardent advocate for watersheds as maps, visual pinpoints that tell a story of our civilization’s past and present relationship to waterways in the United States. Her photos are not intended to be documentation, but rather, constructed portraits that pull together images of climate change, over-farming, industrial development and the general public’s constant need for fresh water.

According to the EPA, there are 2,110 watersheds in the continental U.S.

Her series, “Seven Rivers,” began in 2011. After spending 25 days floating on the Colorado River, passing the Grand Canyon, Lake Powell and Lake Mead, nestled between Glen Canyon Dam and the great Hoover Dam, she began to take notice of watermarks. “The Canyon is a National Park giving the impression of untouched wilderness,” she explained to HuffPost. “But the rapids, though wild with whitewater, —> Read More Here


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