Our Thirsty Planet

Water is the driving force of all nature.
– Leonardo da Vinci


Clean water, the essence of life and a birthright for everyone,
must become available to all people now.
– Jean-Michel Cousteau

Kabul, Afghanistan

Water, like religion and ideology, has the power to move millions of people. Since the very birth of human civilization, people have moved to settle close to it. People move when there is too little of it. People move when there is too much of it. People journey down it. People write, sing and dance about it. People fight over it. And all people, everywhere and every day, need it.
– Mikhail Gorbachev

Baluchistan, Pakistan
Mumbai, India

Water is life’s matter and matrix, mother and medium.
There is no life without water.

– Albert Szent-Gyorgyi

Rajasthan, India
Omo Valley, Ethiopia

If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water.
Loren Eiseley


Water is the soul of the Earth.
– W. H. Auden


We never know the worth of water till the well is dry.
– Thomas Fuller

Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India

To understand water is to understand the cosmos,
the marvels of nature, and life itself.

– Masaru Emoto


Water is being depleted many, many times faster
than nature can replenish it.

– Maude Barlow


Steve’s current and upcoming exhibitions:

Steve McCurry: In Search of Elsewhere opens March 4, 2021
at Polka Galerie in Paris, France.

Wabi Sabi: Beauty in Imperfection opens March 1, 2021
at the Musée Barbier-Mueller in Genéve, Switzerland.

Icons currently on display at
Palazzo Sarcinelli in Conegliano, Italy.


Please take a look at other activities at Steve McCurry Studios

By Steve McCurry

Steve McCurry has been one of the most iconic voices in contemporary photography for more than thirty years, with scores of magazine and book covers, over a dozen books, and countless exhibitions around the world to his name.

To read more about Steve go to

17 replies on “Our Thirsty Planet”

How wonderful these pictures are. I particularly like the feeling of movement they give, either the water running or moving in the bucket. or people taking steps while carrying water. it just gives that feeling that water keeps us alive, keeps us moving.

And how easy so many of us have it. All we have to do is turn on the faucet. Water is life. Extraordinary visual story of how vital water is and that scarcity of it.

I’m without words, sincerely. This gallery of photos are wonderful. I love your photos and I ‘ll kove for ever.
With love Alessandra

Water is life and this important and powerful series shows how people struggle, kids waste childhood to collect water as they lack source of clean drinking water near their home. We should take lesson and value the privileges we have. Hope someday the struggle of people around the world to get basic amneties will end. Your work is so important for this world Sir! 🙏🏻❤

Having just experienced no indoor running water for a mere two days has made me aware of how privileged I am. And, most importantly how very important clean water is to survive. Today I received the newest blog by Steve McCurry and what do you know! His topic was about water! I have been made more keenly mindful of the poor in the world and their plight for clean water. And for me, the absolute privilege of not only having clean water but indoor running water! I am so grateful! I’m praying for those whom have been born into life situations as the “have nots.” Hopefully, God will be gracious to me in remembering them often in my prayers. These pictures and the people and countries they represent are a gift of testimony crying out to the world and a test to the privileged.

The sad part is we here in America with our abundance of water tend to waste much of it. As campers we tend to be more conservative of water. When home and taking a shower I wet down and shut the water off while I lather up then turn it back on. We all need to wake up before it’s too late.

Thank you for this beautiful visualization of what it takes to have water all over the world! I am curious about the years the photos were taken …

What mafnificent photos from all over the world So perfectly captured. and equally beautiful quotes. How we take water for granted in the western world
Thank you Stevebhai

I’m sincerely without words. This gallery of photos are wonderful one more of the other. I love your photos and I’ ll love for ever.

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