The water issue

Print editions of National Geographic’s special issue “Water: Our Thirsty World” (now online) will be on newsstands on March 30th. An accompanying exhibit opens at the Annenberg Space for Photography in Los Angeles on March 27th. Among the features is “California’s Pipe Dream,” written by Joel K. Bourne, Jr with photographs by Edward Burtynsky.

Bourne opens, “On a blistering day in the megalopolis that is southern California, Shivaji Deshmukh of the Orange County Water District offers me a cup of cool, clear water that just yesterday was swirling around in an Anaheim toilet bowl … After spending the past century building one of the most elaborate water-delivery systems on the planet replete with giant pumps and thousands of miles of pipes and canals, California has come to this — akin to the last desperate act of lifeboat-bound sailors drinking their own bodily fluids.”

Once a body of water