In 2010, the United Nations reported that by 2025 nearly 3.4 billion people worldwide will face water scarcity. In 2011 Mustafah Abdulaziz began to document the challenges faced by the decline of water on different cultures in India, Pakistan, Ethiopia, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Nigeria, Brazil and China.
In response to the Syngenta Photography Award‘s theme of Scarcity-Waste, the Berlin-based photographer submitted a proposal to focus on California’s devastating water shortage. “These photographs are not a reportage of drought, but rather, an examination of the ways in which human beings exist within the extreme margins of water. It is in this space that our structures, behaviour and perspectives are called into question,” explains Abdulaziz.
Spending two months in California discovering how water was distributed and used, Abdulaziz’s project presents both the harsh realities of a state gripped by drought but also how man takes this natural resource for granted.
From LA’s Ivanhoe Reservoir filled with millions of “shade balls” to reduce evaporation and the chance of algae to the fires in Southern Lake County, Abdulaziz presents a powerful visual story of water scarcity in the Golden State.