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Deb Pang Davis

Deb Pang Davis

Travel History

Profession: Web and print designer
Location: Portland, Oregon , United States ( PDX )
Home base: Portland, Oregon
URL: http://www.cococello.com
Email: •••••••• (private)
Organization: Cococello
Work phone 503-213-3203
Emergency notes: Contact Mike Davis.
Last login: over 4 years ago
Member since: 03 May 2007 22:05



Recent Post

Your Help on a New Photography Project?

The Blue Planet Run, a project funded by the non-profit BPR Foundation, is designed to capture the human face of the global water crisis. We envision it as a sequel to Al Gore’s #1 New York Times best seller “An Inconvenient Truth”.

Many environmentalists believe the water crisis is even more imminent than global warming (although the two are obviously inter-related).

Below is some background on the project and, further down, a description of the help we are looking for. The book is being published this fall so we would be very grateful for your immediate response to this request for help!

The team producing the book include Rick Smolan and Jennifer Erwitt, creators of the original ‘Day in the Life’ and other global photography projects, Mike Cerre, an Emmy and Peabody award winning TV producer, Mike Davis, former Picture Editor at the White House and National Geographic Magazine, Deborah Pang Davis, former Associate Art Director at National Geographic Traveler Magazine, Stephen Petranek, former editor-in-chief of Discover Magazine and Michael Rylander, art director for many of Apple Computer’s advertisements.


None of the miraculous scientific achievements of the twentieth century has affected human health and development as profoundly as the ready availability of clean water. But nearly half the people in the world today don’t have the kind of clean water and sanitation services that were available two thousand years ago to the citizens of ancient Rome.

Today half of the hospital beds on earth are occupied by people with an easily preventable waterborne disease. Thirty to seventy million people will die in the next fifteen years from preventable water-related diseases.

This isn’t just a problem facing the developing world. The water crisis is going to affect everyone on earth. In the next few years wars are going to be fought over water just as wars have been fought for decades over oil.

There is some hope on the horizon, but only if the human race faces up to how little time we have left to change our behavior.

We’ve all seen pictures of drought afflicted countries and we need to include these. But the story we are bringing to life is much broader. It’s getting people in affluent countries to understand that there is only a finite amount of water on the planet (our ever-growing population is still basically drinking the same water consumed by Dinosaurs, simply recycled). And much of the rapidly disappearing drinking water has been poisoned with chemicals and man made molecules that nature is no longer able to recycle.

Our hope is that by featuring the work of some of the world’s leading photojournalists, The Blue Planet Run project may be able to generate enough attention and attract sufficient resources to actually affect the situation before its too late.

Our plan is to use evocative images to show the extent of the problem while also showing hopeful examples of what can be done to address the situation.


We need your help in two ways: identifying existing bodies of work and suggesting assignment ideas.

We need your help in identifying photographers anywhere in the world who have already shot stories or images related to the water crisis (we also want to know about newspapers and magazines that have recently published stories focused on water issues).

We are also looking for assignment ideas for the 40 photographers we plan to send around the world in May and June to help us illustrate the following topics:

1) Pissing in the well: It’s not a pleasant thought, but that’s basically what we are doing. For centuries humanity has been treating rivers, lakes and oceans as our dumping ground. When only a billion people were on earth, nature was able to absorb and recycle our debris. Now with five times the number of people all trying to use the same amount of water the system is getting overloaded. And, as Al Gore showed so eloquently in his movie, we are rapidly reaching a point of no return, a tipping point where nature is no longer able to recover from the chemicals, human waste and byproducts of manufacturing that we pour into this fragile system.

Fifty years ago in the United States only five man made chemicals were being found in community reservoirs. Today it’s 10,000. Three weeks ago New York Times reported that substantial amounts of anti-depressants and birth control chemicals are being found in tap water.

We need photographs that capture man’s effect on the water system and the effect of contaminated water on man.

2) Ripple Effects: There are many side effects of the water crisis. In the developing world enormous numbers of women and children spend 6 hours a day carrying water from a well or a stream back to their village. Lack of sanitation is also a big issue. By simply adding a toilet to a school in India or Africa 15 percent more girls attend school. We need photographs that show the loss in human productivity, and other ways that lack of easily obtainable and affordable clean drinking water affects the world.

3) Paving Paradise: There is no ‘Over There’. The majority of people in the developed world are oblivious to how quickly the water crisis is going to affect their lives. We’re looking for pictures showing the disregard for water – (aerials of neighborhoods dotted with pools, yard after yard of sprinklers, fire hydrants used as playgrounds in the inner city). We’re looking for images capturing the effect of dams. We’re looking for pictures showing the effect of taking too much water out of the ground – sink holes where entire homes are being sucked into the ground. Communities where the wells have been rendered deadly by arsenic because the wells were dug too deep.

4) Canaries in the coal mine: Animals and nature are early indicators of the coming crisis. Many species are starting to display genetic malformities because of chemical pollutants. We’re looking for examples of animals, fish, landscapes, anything that communicates the severity of the problem.

5) Drinking Dinosaur Water: The amount of water on earth is the same today as it was in the era of the dinosaur. We’re looking for before and after images showing dry lakes that were once full, dried up riverbeds that were once flowing, desiccated landscapes that were once verdant.

6) Water is the new oil: The Coming Water Wars: The first war over water may come between Egypt and Ethiopia over the Nile, which Egypt is essentially pumping dry. Next may between Syria and Turkey or Iraq and Turkey as Turkey decides to dam the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. Legal wars are already being fought in the United States and around the world as companies attempt to privatize water. We’re looking for photographs of protests, of courtrooms where these battles are being fought, anything that helps illustrate the increasing conflict over access to water.

7) High and low tech life preservers: We’re looking for examples of innovations addressing the issue of clean water. There are people and organizations around the world urgently trying to address these issues. Companies are realizing that the ecological impact of their actions shouldn’t be an afterthought but be part of their strategy. Inventors and entrepreneurs are inventing new ways of purifying water or digging for wells. CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) is the new corporate buzz word – is it greenwashing or sincere? We’re looking for examples of simple lifestyle changes that can have a huge and immediate impact.

  • Please follow these guidelines for sending links to existing bodies of work or story suggestions *


— Create a new message to: blueplanetrun@gmail.com

— If you have existing work please indicate in your heading the subject or story title, followed by the country or region.

(For Example) Existing work: Colorado River Delta | Western United States ( or ) Desalination | Middle East

— Then, write a brief summary of the work or idea so we can quickly get a sense of context, relevancy, depth.

— If you have a link to an online gallery of images, please be sure to include the URL.

— Include your contact information including phone, mobile, email, address, and affiliation, if any.


— Create a new message to: blueplanetrun@gmail.com

— If you have specific assignment ideas please indicate that in your heading as follows:

Subject field: Assignment Pitch: Children’s roundabout pumps in Africa

— Please write a brief summary of the idea so we can quickly get a sense of context, relevancy, depth.

— If you have a link to an online gallery of images, please be sure to include the URL.

— Include your contact information including phone, mobile, email, address, and affiliation, if any.

— If you are or will be in the area you propose to photograph in the next four weeks, please tell us.

Given the scope of the project and volume of responses, we cannot respond to every email. If your proposal works in the context of the project, we will contact you.

Thank you very much for your help and please forward this email to anyone who could assist us in telling this complex and important story.


Rick Smolan, Mike Davis & Deborah Pang Davis

PS: The same foundation providing the funding for this book project is also funding the world’s longest round the world relay race beginning June 1 as 20 runners cross the globe, running 24 hours a day seven days a week for three months, to raise awareness of the global water crisis. To learn more about the foundation and the run: www.BluePlanetRun.org

12 May 2007 05:05 | 0 replies


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