Museum of Water is an invitation to ponder our precious liquid and how we use it.
Begun in a time of relative plenty in Britain, the Museum is gathering collections of water across the world for future generations to consider.
Water is a paradox: it is both abundant and scarce, precious and discounted. The way water is treated varies enormously between cultures, economies and time.
Water is our most basic need, and is often treated as our most overlooked, throwaway substance. We choose water metaphors to define our very thinking, but in reality we have become used to defending against it. We squeeze it and pump it, chlorinate it and pipe it, soothed by our certainty that it will pour from our tap at a twist of our fingers.
It is time to re-examine our connection with the water that surrounds us, and develop a new relationship. We are all implicated in this. We need to hold on to water, consider what is precious about it and how we are using it now in order to explore how we might save it for the future. Museum of Water is a love poem to water, that counts the ways we use water, detailing the ways we interact with it, appreciating its impact on our lives, with an eye on a drier future.
Museum of Water has travelled to over 50 different sites worldwide, been visited by over 40,000 people, and currently holds over 1000 bottles in the collection. These range from a melted snowman to a burst London water main and water from the last ice age, a muddy puddle in Birmingham to a canal in Rotterdam, water from Lourdes, Mecca and the Ganges, condensation from a Falmouth window, Ghost water and bad dream water, 20-year-old evaporated snow from Maine, a new born baby’s bath water, Norwegian spit, three types of urine, two different breaths and water from a bedside table said to be infused with dreams.
In celebration of our access to fresh water in this country, always running alongside the Museum is our Water Bar, a free pop-up outdoor bar serving only tap water.
How do you enjoy water –
Do you swim in pools?
Do you splash in puddles?
Do you drink from a tap?
Choose what water is most precious to you. Find a bottle to put it in. Tell us why you chose this water. We will keep it for you.
Help us build a collection of water for future generations to enjoy.
What water will you keep?