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Backpage by Catherine Gavin A rtist Edward Burtynsky is bringing attention to water and its value to our society as a diminishing natural resource. Renowned for his large-format photographs, Burtynsky’s latest project brought the Canadian photographer to Texas. His work in the Lone Star State has concentrated on the pivot 88 Texas Architect 5/6 2014 irrigation fields in the Panhandle region. Burtynsky captures the marks on the earth from a bird’s-eye view. He argues that agriculture represents the most pervasive human activity on the planet, and that approximately 70 percent of all fresh water under human control Burtynsky’s work in the Lone Star State has concentrated on the pivot irrigation fields in the Panhandle region. is dedicated to this industry. With his focus on the pivot irrigation systems, Burtynsky hopes to bring new attention to depletion of the Ogallala Aquifer, which stretches from the Panhandle into the Great Plains, crossing the borders of eight states. EDWARD BURTYNSKY PHOTO COURTESY NICHOLAS METIVIER GALLERY, TORONTO / HOWARD GREENBERG GALLERY, AND BRYCE WOLKOWITZ GALLERY, NEW YORK. “While trying to accommodate the growing needs of an expanding and very thirsty civilization, we are reshaping the Earth in colossal ways. In this new and powerful role over the planet, we are also capable of engineering our own demise. We have to learn to think more long-term about the consequences of what we are doing, while we are doing it. My hope is that these pictures will stimulate a process of thinking about something essential to our survival something we often take for granted — until it’s gone.” — Edward Burtynsky Water

Texas Architect May/June 2014: Water

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