Gallery: Photographs by Edward Burtynsky

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From pristine glacial rivers to geometrically patterned aquaculture farms and fractal river deltas, Edward Burtynsky’s near-abstract photography documents the countless ways that water shapes our landscapes, as it traces the enormous impact that humans have on fragile freshwater systems. “While trying to accommodate the growing needs of an expanding and thirsty civilization, we are reshaping the Earth in colossal ways,” he says. “We have to think long term about the consequences of what we are doing to our planet. My hope is that these photographs stimulate people to think about the water we often take for granted—until it’s gone.”

RICE TERRACES #2. Western Yunnan Province, China, 2012

COLORADO RIVER DELTA #9. Sonora, Mexico, 2012

POLDERS, GROOTSCHERMER. The Netherlands, 2011

GLACIER CATCHMENT. Scud River, British Columbia, Canada, 2012

XILUODU DAM #1. Yangtze River, Yunnan Province, China, 2012

COLORADO RIVER DELTA #2. Baja, Mexico, 2011

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