The control of water in the Everglades opened land for agriculture and human development as the swamp was drained to become “productive land.” The US Army Corps of Engineers implemented an intensive system of canals and dams in order to keep the water from naturally spilling over Lake Okeechobee’s southern rim and saturating the land at the headwaters of the Everglades watershed. This control of the waterways has become a major issue in the ecosystems of the Everglades as the natural flow of water was replaced with a regulated flow, rarely meeting the needs of the ecosystems, especially in times of drought.
This project explores the ways we have controlled the water in the Everglades in order to make room for our living. Water is central to all life, yet humans continuously impact our waterways in various ways. Water permeates through the earth, saturating the soil, filling bodies of water, nourishing plants and animals, while flowing naturally. In a human world, the natural flow of water crosses our lawns, roads, and agriculture picking up chemicals we use to fertilize our lawns and agriculture and the oil released from cars along the way. These elements are far from natural, pervading the ecosystem, impacting its ability to function properly as the new elements are foreign and unnatural. This project seeks to capture or suggest these human inputs into the ecosystem through capturing the sources of the pollutants or the impact of them on the system. Pollution is only one element of human impact on water.