INSIDE THE FRAME by Joe Duty

Precious resource

By Joe Duty | Published Thursday, November 11, 2010

Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Cool, precious drops bead in an airtight container. A firm, calloused hand grips the bottled liquid. Water is easily taken for granted, but its absence is missed immediately.

Our roaming photographer always finds curious shots when water is involved.

Life’s natural, universal form of nourishment shimmers encased in cylindrical plastic. Every droplet curves the light and colors around it. Just as water composes and creates all life, it also reflects the world around it.

In this dry county, narrow and few waterways weave through the rolling prairie. Roots dig deep in pursuit of water. Man’s wells punch deeper, cracking into sandy aquifers, lush with slow-moving moisture. And the drilling for fossil fuels delves deeper than all.

In pursuit of a story about natural gas extraction and its effects on water quality, our photographer found families forced to haul in water after their private wells were contaminated. Life’s most crucial component compromised for ephemeral gain was a recurring scene. The water reflected the reality of its surroundings.

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