Views & Reviews Review of the Week

H2O: are we in deep water?

BMJ 2007; 335 doi: (Published 08 November 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;335:995
  1. Janice Hopkins Tanne, medical journalist, New York
  1. TanneJH{at}

    Wildfires in California and one billion people without access to safe drinking water: a new exhibition looks at our emerging water crisis. Janice Hopkins Tanne reports

    A filmy curtain of royal blue bearing the words “water” in 17 languages greets you at the entrance to the American Museum of Natural History's exhibit “Water: H2O=Life.” You hesitate for a moment, wondering what this is, but you step through the film, because this isn't a wall but a mist of water. Like all the water in the exhibition it is recycled, a clue that the museum is trying to tell you how rare our supply of fresh water is, how it keeps us alive but sometimes gives us disease, and how careless we are in using it. The exhibition's poster shows Planet Earth floating on a life preserver.

    Museum president Ellen Futter said the exhibition was timely and important when the world is facing a water crisis—drought in the US southeast, wildfires in Greece and California, mudslides in Central America, and more than a billion people without access to safe drinking water. Soon we may see …

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