The Intimate Realities of Water Project

The Intimate Realities of Water Project is a series of cinematic portraits that examine the power dynamics of water and human settlements.


This award-winning project is a listening forum, a platform for sharing, and an instrument for change, broadening public understanding of how water shapes everyday life.

People living in disadvantaged communities across the world share how their lives have been impacted by water contamination, pollution, flooding, scarcity and privatization. Water statistics highlight the scope and magnitude of the global water challenge. What they don’t illustrate is how water scarcity, contamination, rising sea levels, and changes to the water cycle affect everyday life on the ground. They also don’t expose the politics of water access, the failed experiments in water management, nor the social and cultural hurdles that impede the success and equitable distribution of water development projects.

How we use and interpret water data can foster important social, cultural, economic, and political changes. The success of water projects designed to address the world’s growing water challenges depends upon culturally appropriate solutions that are alert to political obstacles, attentive of social biases, aware of cultural practices, and responsive to economic inequities. In order to achieve this, it is important to humanize and contextualize water data. Exploring more creative ways to use water data is central to achieving these goals.