Water Discovery Center Exhibits
Click here for renderings of Exhibit Plans
Plans for the Water Discovery Center include 25,000 square feet of exhibit space. Our goal is to create compelling, interactive educational exhibits that effectively address the many facets of understanding, conserving and protecting the world’s precious fresh water resources.
As exhibit design moves forward, much thought and research is being devoted to determining how best to convey our message. Currently plans call for the exhibit space to be organized around following content areas:
The entry feature, introducing the subject of our center, will be located in a large open area leading down to the exhibits. The dominant feature will be a 60 foot diameter blue sphere of the earth, rotating slowly, suspended over the area. Visible from outside the building, the globe image is an assembled photo of the earth from the Space Station.
The Catskill Launch Pad, located off to the left of the visitor entry, features a free experience that can be visited at any time. It will offer visitors information on activities, events, organizations, hotels, motels, B&B’s, restaurants and businesses in the Catskills.
It may be surprising to realize that the water we drink is the very same water once consumed by dinosaurs. Though we live on the blue planet, 97% of all water on earth is not drinkable. Less than 1% of all fresh water is available for consumption by all forms of life on earth. Visitors will explore the hydrological cycle and how it works, how we get our water and the concept of virtual water.
"Water is the driver of Nature."
Leonardo da Vinci
Irreversible pollution and over-pumping of the deep aquifer - the earth’s storehouse of freshwater - to meet the needs of rapidly increasing population and the impact of global warming are seriously depleting our fresh water supply.
Today 1.1 billion people lack access to safe drinking water. By 2025 experts predict, 52 countries - representing 2/3 of the world’s population - will be suffering from water shortages. The crisis has hit home as well - 72% of the states in our nation anticipate water shortages within the next 10 years. Right now some of our major rivers have diminished to mere trickles by the time they reach the sea.
The consequences are both alarming and catastrophic. Nearly 90% of the world’s illnesses are attributable to bad water. More than 5 million people - mostly children - die each year from water-related diseases. If no action is taken, as many as 135 million people will die by 2020 of disease related to a lack of clean water.
By developing an understanding the seriousness of the challenges to fresh water, we hope to lay the groundwork for visitors to embrace initiatives for effectively addressing the crisis.
"The wars of the twenty-first century will be fought over water."
Ismail Serageldin, World Bank Vice President
A number of organizations, initiatives and efforts have created successful programs and products offering concrete solutions to the problems besieging the world’s fresh water. This section will explore current activities promoted by the United Nations, Rotary International, corporate programs and clean energy entrepreneurs.
"The frog does not drink up the pond in which he lives."
American Indian proverb
Located in the scenic heart of the Catskill/Delaware Watershed, the Discovery Center will highlight one of the most extraordinary municipal water delivery systems in the world. Created by the geological history of the Catskills formed over the last 30,000 years, exhibits will tell the story of how the Catskill plane was sculpted by the glaciers to create the watershed.
It will feature the remarkable system, built through the sacrifice of 5,500 people in 27 Catskill communities who gave up their homes and businesses for the construction of New York City’s water supply system. This system delivers daily - almost entirely by gravity - over a billion gallons of pure fresh water to nearly 50% of New York State residents living in the Greater New York City metropolitan area. This replicable model for intelligent water management illustrates the successful reconciliation of often opposing political interests.
The innovative, interactive exhibits in this section will be designed to educate and inspire passion and action for the protection and conservation of fresh water throughout the world. Ranging from residential to commercial, exhibits will contain examples of water wastage and contemporary efforts to change habits through technology and awareness. Organizations both local and worldwide will be featured.
For some, the Center will hold stunning discoveries. For others of all ages, it will be a place where they can make discoveries happen - an opportunity for learning, for networking with professionals and for collaborative research. Still others will find in its vast offerings not only a call to action for personal responsibility and collective initiatives - but a blueprint for those actions. Moreover, policy makers, governments and the general public alike will discover here a working model for the successful reconciliation of often opposing needs and interests - rural vs. urban, water-providing vs. water-consuming, industry vs. agriculture - a model that can and will have far reaching impact.
Water Discovery Center P.O. Box 8, Arkville, NY 12406