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Ephemeral Streams and Waters of the US is a work that responds to the new definitions defined in the Trump administration's repeal of the Clean Water Act. Ephemeral streams and intermittent streams only flow after heavy rainfall or during certain seasons, respectively, and as of September 2019 are no longer considered Waters of the United States (WOTUS). However, these streams comprise nearly 70% of all waterways in the US, and implicate one-third of our nation's drinking water resources. The revised definitions have not only health, pollution, and development implications, but perpetuates a conception that waterways are individual and separate entities. This work asks the viewer to become intimate with whole cycle systems, and aware of the power relationship that the government has with these systems. 

 

Based on a graphic provided by the Kentucky Water Alliance website, this work visualizes the difference between ephemeral and intermittent streams, and perennial streams (those that flow all year long.) Using two different colors of mylar, the graphic shows which waters are no longer protected as Waters of the US (WOTUS). The materials used are reflective, therefore when natural light (from windows) interacts with it, the reflection looks like water ripples on the surfaces that it hits. 

 

Whole system approaches to landscape management and perspective is at the base of my research and visual inquiries. How do we talk about, define, and represent the landscape with which we participate? How is the dialogue with the community fluid or fixed? How does this relationship change based on modified definitions made by the US government?