Drought in Texas... and Conservation
Photography begins as a pursuit of capturing happy family gatherings and documenting the good times in our lives, and then for those of us who have embraced photography as a nearly every day pursuit, it becomes so much more. We start shooting things we may not have thought of shooting before, we experiment with new techniques, we share with those who share the same passion, and some enter into the professional realm, but photography can go one step further. It can be a form of activism... a way to enact social change.
This past year I was fortunate enough to attend a photography presentation by Michael "Nick" Nichols at the Angelika Theater in Dallas. This was sponsored by the Dallas Zoo. Nick is a National Geographic photographer who has extensively photographed the plight of the elephants in central Africa as poachers have slaughtered the animals for their ivory tusks... all because of greed as ivory brings a lot of money on the black market. The photos are powerful and it has brought attention to the dire situation in an attempt to save the elephants. His book "Earth to Sky" is a testimony to the plight of the elephants and he is passionate to save them.
We, in Texas, are in our own conservation dilemma as global warming has decreased the availability in the southwest of a basic requirement for life... water. We take it for granted as we water our green lawns, plant vegetation that requires incredible amounts of water to survive, wash our cars, take long showers, fill our pools, pollute the waterways and then suddenly we see our reservoirs at lower water levels. We continue to build more homes, the population expands and more water is required. We tend to think that water is an inexhaustable resource... but it is not and I think we need to look to the future and make changes now so that we will have water to live, before it's too late. And to that end, I think it is time to halt the sprawling suburbs that are taking over the area. Too many houses on small lots and the sprawl just continues ad nauseum. When will we say "enough is enough"? When will we all become pro-active in protecting one of our most precious resources?
Photography can play an important part in the documentation of the severity of it all. This first photo was taken in 2011... the year of one of the worst Texas droughts. This was taken close to home at Lake Ray Hubbard. These tree stumps are normally underwater and now they are exposed with cracking earth all around as the sun beats down causing further evaporation. Communities take steps to limit watering of lawns, but is it enough?
Where boats once launched, it is now high and dry in 2013.
Where you see dry scrub... all of that used to be filled with lake water. This is January 2014, and the drought persists. There will be no boats leaving from that boat house.
It is time to take action in any way we can. This has happened over a time span of 3 short years. Will there even be a lake in years to come?
I found this bit of blue debris on the arid ground. This is just as I found it in an area that would normally be underwater. I added the text to dramatize how dire this water issue is.
Vote your conscience and do all you can to protect our water, for without it, we cannot live!
Keywords: Conservation, Dallas Zoo, Drought, Earth to Sky, Global Warming, Lake Ray Hubbard, Michael Nick Nichols, Texas, Water Rationing
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