On March 12, the Harker Speaker Series brought revered photojournalist Rick Smolan to Nichols Hall to discuss the increasing scarcity of clean drinking water around the world. His work as a photojournalist has appeared in publications such as Time and National Geographic, and he created the “A Day in the Life” series of photo books.
Smolan was “completely stunned at how interesting and troubling and in some ways inspiring the water problem is.” The difficulty, Smolan found, was worldwide. “It isn’t a problem; it’s a whole series of interrelated problems, and depending on where you are in the world, it’s a different problem.” Smolan then began working with Blue Planet Run, a water advocacy group, to create a photo book of the same name. The photojournalist, and now writer, seeks to change the perception the clean water crisis was only affecting the populations of poorer countries. Humans are now consuming water four times more quickly than nature is able to replenish it, and “Blue Planet Run features photos from Africa, where villagers must travel long distances to obtain gallons of filthy water, to West Virginia, where one family must deal with tap water so contaminated it runs blood red.” For the full story on this wonderful speaker’s visit to Harker, see the Harker Speaker Series page.