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Jonas Kakó, The Dying River

The Colorado River used to run for 2,000 kilometres, from the Rocky Mountains to the Gulf of California; but recent decades have seen the diversion of water for agriculture and for the growing cities, which has led to the river running dry in places. In his series, the German photographer (born 1992) reveals the struggle for the water which around 40 million people depend upon. The future appears particularly grim for the indigenous Cucapá people living in the Colorado Delta: without the river, their culture will die out.

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Alfredo Fierro and his co-workers Ubaldo and José wear protective suits while tending bees in the desert, Wenden, Arizona, March 3, 2022
View of Lake Mead. Sediment deposits on the rock walls give an idea of the reach of former water levels, Boulder City, Nevada, November 26, 2021
Leticia Galavis Sainz of the Cucapá tribe fishes in the Colorado River, which is polluted by agricultural runoff, El Mayor, Mexico, December 1, 2021
Migrant farm workers from Mexico collect cotton leftovers which will be sold as second grade cotton, Indian River Reservation, Arizona, November 27, 2021
Jesús Colunga on the banks of the Colorado. Shortly across the border, the river is no longer visible, San Luis Río Colorado, Mexico, November 30, 2021
As of 2022, ferry services to Bullfrog Marina at Lake Powell have been suspended, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Utah, March 4, 2022
For years, Alfredo Fierro and his colleagues have had to provide water for the bees, otherwise they cannot survive, Wenden, Arizona, March 11, 2022
The All American Canal diverts water from the Colorado River, Glamis Dunes, California, November 25, 2021
Conservation workers from the NGO Pro-Natura repair a pipe and attempt to reintroduce endemic plants, Algodones, Mexico, November 29, 2021
Leonard Sloan checks the water level in a rainwater storage pond on the rangeland on the Navajo Reservation, March 7, 2022
Entrance to a trailer settlement on the Colorado River in the Arizona desert, Lost Lake Resort, Arizona, March 18, 2022
Jaime Servantes (right) and Ramiro Cervantes pack freshly harvested beetroots in a field, Algodones. Mexico, November 30, 2021
The VanWinkle family had to sell around 100 cows because their pastures provided only 60 per cent of what they needed, Whitewater, Colorado, March 2, 2022
The detour dam, from the Colorado River to the Grand Valley Canal, lies dry, Palisade, Colorado, March 3, 2022
Gondola ride in Las Vegas. 90 per cent of the city’s water needs are supplied by the Colorado River, Las Vegas, September 9, 2022
Workers carry out maintenance repairs during the annual check up of a diversion dam, Algodones, Mexico, November 29, 2021
The drop in the water level at Lake Powell is causing a decline in tourism in the area, Bullfrog Marina, Utah, March 4, 2022
José Antonio is homeless and lives near the border crossing. He collects what migrants leave behind, Algodones, Mexico/USA, March 19, 2022
The Colorado River delta, San Felipe, Mexico, March 24, 2022
Antonia Torres Gonzáles fears that as the water disappears, so will the Cucapá culture, El Mayor, Mexico, March 24, 2022