Water Issues

Across the country, our communities are facing a multitude of critical water issues ranging from water quality and contamination, water scarcity, and global climate change. These problems affect our everyday lives and the environment around us. National Water Dance is committed to using our artistry to draw attention to important issues such as these, and to further the national conversation on what can be done to address them.

Climate Change
According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, climate change refers to "a significant variation of average weather conditions—say, conditions becoming warmer, wetter, or drier—over several decades or more." Our society’s consumption of nonrenewable fossil fuels and the production of other polluting gases has led to increased levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. This, in turn, contributes to rising global temperatures which have wide-ranging effects including more frequent forest fires and droughts, rising sea levels, and more extreme storms and floods.

Climate change is predicted to cause far-reaching changes to the natural hydrologic cycle and subsequently, our precious water resources. This is expected to negatively impact:
•The flow of water through watersheds
•Water quality and public health
•Marine life and aquatic environments

There is much we can do to slow or mitigate the effects of climate change, and to forge a healthier future for us all.

Access to Clean Drinking Water
As we have recently seen in cases such as Flint, Michigan, access to clean, healthy drinking water is an issue plaguing many communities across the United States. The presence of contaminants like lead, disinfectants, heavy metals, hormones or medications, and pesticides pose critical issues for a substance we use not only for drinking but also cooking and bathing.

These water issues clash head on with land rights as indigenous nations like the Standing Rock Sioux fight for the protection of the their clean water resources and sacred ancestral lands from the development of the Dakota Access Pipeline. Environmental and water struggles are inherently struggles for social justice and human rights.

Large Scale Impacts to Watershed Health
Particularly in Florida, we have seen the devastating effects of large scale impacts to overall watershed health such as:
•Death of marine life due to changes in water salinity from saltwater intrusion
•Water contamination and algae blooms from increased chemical runoff into coastal waters
•The interruption of natural water flow through the watershed due to development

There is much work to be done to address the above issues, and many committed organizations throughout the country who dedicate themselves to the health of our waters.

Share your local water issues, contact us here!

Who is doing something about it?

Miami Waterkeeper
Miami Waterkeeper (formerly Biscayne Bay Waterkeeper) defends, protects, and preserves Biscayne Bay and surrounding waters through citizen involvement and community action. MWK works to ensure swimmable, drinkable, fishable water in South Florida for all.

Louisiana Environmental Action Network
The Louisiana Environmental Action Network (LEAN) is a community based not-for-profit organization that has been working since 1986 to resolve the unique environmental struggles present in Louisiana. Through education, empowerment, advocacy, and support; LEAN provides the necessary tools and services to individuals and communities facing environmental problems.
Submitted by past NWD participants at the University of Louisiana at Monroe

Friends of the Everglades
Friends of the Everglades was founded in 1969 by renowned journalist, author, and environmental activist Marjory Stoneman Douglas. The mission of Friends of the Everglades is to preserve, protect, and restore the only Everglades in the world.

US Climate Action Network
USCAN’s mission is to support and strengthen US-based civil society organizations’ influence on the development and implementation of local, national, and international climate policy and action.

Bullsugar.org is dedicated to stopping the damaging discharges into the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee estuaries and restoring the flow of clean freshwater to Florida Bay. We aim to empower voters to take back our water and government and to ensure a lasting legacy of clean water and healthy estuaries for future generations.

Indigenous Environmental Network
The Indigenous Environmental Network’s activities include building the capacity of Indigenous communities and tribal governments to develop mechanisms to protect our sacred sites, land, water, air, natural resources, health of both our people and all living things, and to build economically sustainable communities.

Environmental Protection Agency
The EPA is working with state, tribal, and local governments, as well as communities, to build resiliency and develop tools to respond to climate change. Learn about the steps the EPA is taking to address the impacts of climate change in the water sector.

Contact us to share who is creating change in your community!

Artists and Creative Responses

Daniel Dancer - Art for the Sky
Daniel Dancer’s many layered work as a conceptual artist has been shaped by his travels worldwide in search of styles of being that engender happiness, sustainability and connection to Earth. Dancer operates a popular artist in residency program called Art For the Sky. Each residency culminates in a giant living painting made of people that only makes sense from the sky. Each fleeting image is a metaphor about the power of collaboration, the importance of awakening what he calls our “skysight”, the beauty of impermanence and our interconnection to all life.

Coral Morphologic
Coral Morphologic is the leading creator of innovative underwater media chronicling Earth’s imperiled coral reefs. It was founded in 2007 by marine biologist Colin Foord and musician Jared McKay as a multi­faceted platform for the advancement of symbiosis between humans and coral. Coral Morphologic’s unique methodology blends science and art in a way that enamors popular culture with the beauty of coral while inspiring the next generation to restore the reefs.

Keepers of the Water
“Keepers of the Water” is a short film about a young group of Native children in Fort Chipewyan, Canada. Their town sits directly downstream from the Alberta Tar Sands - the most environmentally polluting industrial project in the world. The members of their community are dying of rare forms of cancer, the fish and moose meat have tested positive for highly toxic levels of arsenic, the water is no longer drinkable, and there is no end in sight. On their own initiative, these kids came together to protest this environmental crime.

Submit your own local artist, contact us here!