Smith Journal - - Smith Stuff -

Amy Shar­rocks is the founder of the Mu­seum of Wa­ter, a trav­el­ling ex­hi­bi­tion of – you guessed it – H2O. We had more than a few ques­tions for her. What’s the Mu­seum of Wa­ter? It’s a col­lec­tion of wa­ter given to me by any­body who wants to do­nate it. Why wa­ter? It’s an ex­traor­di­nary sub­stance that im­pacts our lives in so many ways, but we’ve for­got­ten to no­tice it. What wa­ters made the cut? I don’t pick and choose; I trea­sure every­thing do­nated. So far we’ve re­ceived 1281 bot­tles, though most aren’t on dis­play. Where can peo­ple see them? There’s a British col­lec­tion, a Dutch col­lec­tion, and most re­cently an Aus­tralian col­lec­tion, at the West­ern Aus­tralian Mu­seum. Any favourite sam­ples? So many. The British Antarc­tic Sur­vey do­nated a bot­tle with wa­ter from 129,000 years ago. There’s a bot­tle of sludge from a failed at­tempt to make bio­fuel from hu­man waste. One per­son brought a sam­ple of men­strual blood. The West­ern Aus­tralian Mu­seum de­clined to house that one. Do do­na­tions dif­fer be­tween coun­tries? Some places un­der­stand how pre­cious wa­ter is. A lady from Cape Town do­nated her daily wa­ter ra­tion. Aus­tralia is sim­i­lar; you have a sense of life and death with wa­ter. From top: tears cried by a mother and daugh­ter; river wa­ter in rub­bish; wa­ter fights on Pop’s deck; wa­ter and glit­ter mixed at pri­mary school; wa­ter the donor’s mum cooked egg in. mu­se­u­mofwa­ SJ

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