Smithsonian exhibit at 5 Rivers ends this weekend

By Allison Marlow
Posted 1/5/18

Saturday is your last chance to visit the Water/Ways traveling exhibition from the Smithsonian’s Museum on Main Street Program.

5 Rivers, in cooperation with the Alabama humanities Foundation, …

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Smithsonian exhibit at 5 Rivers ends this weekend

Posted

Saturday is your last chance to visit the Water/Ways traveling exhibition from the Smithsonian’s Museum on Main Street Program.

5 Rivers, in cooperation with the Alabama humanities Foundation, was chosen as just one of six venues in Alabama to host the program. The Smithsonian’s traveling programs are intended to bring the museum’s storied exhibits to communities that are unlikely to make the journey to Washington D.C. where the permanent collection is housed.

The exhibit demonstrates the importance that water has played since the beginning of time in creating, connecting and dividing communities.

Water/Ways not only brings a national gem to the area, it also focuses on an item coveted by all mankind, everywhere since the beginning of time: water.

On Alabama’s Gulf Coast, it’s difficult to imagine life without water. In other parts of the world, it is a daily struggle.

“It’s the most studied molecule on the planet. It’s a substance we are surrounded by, both inside and outside. It’s something we also give so little thought to until it becomes too late,” said Shonda Borden, assistant manager at 5 Rivers.

“We are in a lucky part of the world. There are 77,000 miles of water in Alabama and most of it is clean,” she said. “Imagine being in Flint, Michigan where you can’t turn on the tap or in California where there is no water.”

According to the exhibit, 71 percent of the Earth’s surface is covered by water and only 3 percent of it is fresh water which is what humans need to survive. Of that 3 percent only a small portion is easy to reach. The rest is trapped in the atmosphere, glaciers and underground.

The exhibit strives to show how that small amount of fresh water is distributed equally across the globe and used in every facet of life.