Think Water Utah
Water is an essential component of life on our planet – environmentally, culturally, and historically. What role does water play in your life?
Think Water Utah is a statewide collaboration and conversation on the critical topic of water presented by Utah Humanities and its partners. Join us throughout 2020 and 2021 for Smithsonian exhibitions, along with local exhibitions and events that explore how water is essential to Utah communities.
Find the latest event details at our Think Water Utah Calendar!
#ThinkWaterUtah #MyWaterStory #IdeasInAction
Water|Ways Exhibition Tour
What's Your Water Story?
Water is life. It forms our world and our lives. It allows us to travel and blocks our paths. It determines where we live and work and what we eat and drink. It is an essential natural resource that we struggle to access and control. Water shapes human culture – our ways of life.
What does water mean to you? Think about your water/ways...
"In the Southwest we tend to think our water scarcity challenges are unique. It was valuable to learn through the exhibition about how parts of the country with much more precipitation and surface water face shortages." – Exhibition Visitor
COMING TO A TOWN NEAR YOU!
Visit the Smithsonian's Water|Ways exhibition and participate in great local activities!
- August 22 – October 11, 2020 | Fremont Indian State Park Museum, 3820 Clear Creek Canyon Road, Sevier, UT 84766, 435.527.4631 with the Snow College Library - Richfield Campus | SEVIER VALLEY ACTIVITIES
- October 17 – December 13, 2020 | Kanab Heritage Museum, 13 South 100 East, Kanab, UT 84741, 435.644.3506 | KANAB ACTIVITIES
- December 19, 2020 – March 27, 2021 | Swaner Preserve & EcoCenter, 1258 Center Drive, Park City, UT 84098, 435.797.8943
- April 3 – June 6, 2021 | John Wesley Powell River History Museum, 1765 Main Street, Green River, UT 84525, 435.564.3427
Special thanks to the Utah Museum of Fine Arts, our statewide partner providing education outreach programming and training for each tour location.
Water|Ways has been made possible in Utah by Utah Humanities. Water|Ways is part of Museum on Main Street, a collaboration between the Smithsonian Institution and State Humanities Councils nationwide. Support for Museum on Main Street has been provided by the United States Congress.
Water|Ways was adapted from an exhibition organized by the American Museum of Natural History (New York) and the Science Museum of Minnesota (St. Paul), in collaboration with Great Lakes Science Center (Cleveland), Field Museum (Chicago), Instituto Sangari (Sao Paulo), National Museum of Australia (Canberra), Royal Ontario Museum (Toronto), San Diego Natural History Museum, and Science Centre Singapore.
The Utah tour of Water|Ways is presented by Utah Humanities in partnership with local exhibition hosts: Fremont Indian State Park Museum with Snow College Library - Richfield, Kanab Heritage Museum, Swaner Preserve & EcoCenter, and the John Wesley Powell River History Museum.
H20 Today Exhibition Tour
H2O Today invites visitors to explore the beauty and essential nature of water, our planet’s lifeblood. Through immersive content, interactives, and digital media, the exhibition examines the diversity and challenges of our global water sources and promotes conversation, creativity, and innovation across disciplines. This exhibition also features Utah's history with water and how it shapes where and how we live.
“Water is life’s matter and matrix, mother and medium. There is no life without water.” – Albert Szent-Gyorgyi
COMING TO A TOWN NEAR YOU!
Visit the Smithsonian's H20 Today exhibition and participate in great local activities!
- January 21 – April 19, 2021 | Utah Cultural Celebration Center, 1355 West 3100 South, West Valley City, UT 84119, 801.965.5100
- April 26 – July 31, 2021 | Uintah County Heritage Museum, 155 E. Main, Vernal, Utah 84078, 435.789.7399
- August 7, 2021 – February 5, 2022 | Bear River Heritage Area at the Hyrum City Museum, 50 West Main Street, Hyrum, UT 84319, 435.245.0208
H2O Today is organized by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service. It was adapted from an exhibition organized by the American Museum of Natural History (New York) and the Science Museum of Minnesota (St. Paul), in collaboration with Great Lakes Science Center (Cleveland), Field Museum (Chicago), Instituto Sangari (Sao Paulo), National Museum of Australia (Canberra), Royal Ontario Museum (Toronto), San Diego Natural History Museum, and Science Centre Singapore.
The Utah tour of H2O Today is presented by Utah Humanities in partnership with local exhibition hosts: Utah Cultural Celebration Center, Uintah County Heritage Museum, and the Bear River Heritage Area in partnership with the Hyrum City Museum.
Learn how water unites and divides us in our communities, our cultures, and our future!
Think Water Utah, presented by Utah Humanities and its partners, is a statewide collaboration and conversation on the critical topic of water. Along with the Smithsonian Water|Ways and H2O Today exhibitions, visit these community exhibitions around Utah in 2020-2021!
- July 18, 2020 – December 31, 2021 | Our River is Our Community explores how the Green River is essential to life and culture in southeastern Utah | John Wesley Powell River History Museum, 1765 Main Street, Green River, UT 84525, 435.564.3427 | EXHIBIT TOUR VIDEO
- August 22 - December 31, 2021 | Carved Rock: How Water Shaped Land & Life in Clear Creek Canyon explores how a canyon passageway carved through daunting mountains served as a source of life and symbol of sustenance to people using the canyon for the last 10,000 years | Fremont Indian State Park Museum, 3820 W Clear Creek Canyon Rd, Sevier, UT, 435.527.4631 | SEVIER VALLEY ACTIVITIES
- August 29 - October 11, 2020 | Drained: Using Water from the Sevier River shows how irrigation projects started in the 1860s have directed nearly all the Sevier River’s water to agriculture and industries and asks whether it's time to re-evaluate this water usage | Snow College Library - Richfield Campus, 800 W 200 S, Richfield, UT, 435.893.2238 | SEVIER VALLEY ACTIVITIES
- October 17 - December 13, 2020 | Water Right explores the idea that cultural values of different societies in the Kanab region have caused water resources to be allocated in decidedly different ways over time | Kanab Heritage Museum, 13 S 100 E, Kanab, UT, 435.644.3506 | KANAB ACTIVITIES
- December 19, 2020 – March 27, 2021 | Why Wetlands? shows how vital it is to preserve and restore the Swaner wetlands because they play a critical role in the long-term health of Park City's community and local ecosystem | Swaner Preserve & EcoCenter, 1258 Center Drive, Park City, UT, 435.797.8943
- January 9 – June 1, 2021 | Decisions Downstream examines new models for predicting the environmental impacts of water development projects | Natural History Museum of Utah, 301 Wakara Way, Salt Lake City, UT 84108, 801.581.6927
- February 18 – December 5, 2021 | Confluence highlights the diverse ways water is used in the Great Salt Lake watershed through art, community, and education | Utah Museum of Fine Arts, Marcia and John Price Museum Building, 410 Campus Center Drive, Salt Lake City, UT 84112, 801.581.7332
Think Water Utah is presented by Utah Humanities in collaboration with these extrordinary partners:
Join Us Please!
We Want to Hear Your Water Story!
- Add your story to the Smithsonian's Stories from Main Street website.
- Join the conversation using #ThinkWaterUtah and #MyWaterStory
Explore Other Stories!
- Learn more about Utah Water Ways in an essay by Gregory Smoak, written especially for the Smithsonian exhibition tour.
- Listen to a new #ThinkWaterUtah story each week on The Beehive Archive. Tune in on KCPW and Utah Public Radio, or stream the whole collection at our Utah Stories from the Beehive Archive website.
- Find water stories from around the country at the Smithsonian's Main Street Story Collection.
- Utah Historical Quarterly, Utah's official public history journal, has all back issues available online, including issues dedicated to the Great Salt Lake from 2019 and 1988. Read articles from Utah scholars about John Wesley Powell, the Strawberry Valley Project, or simply browse the issues to discover a piece of Utah’s water history.
- Search the Western Waters Digital Library for free public access to a wide range of significant resources on water in the West.
- Utah’s Uncertain Water Future, a collaboration between KUED and KUER (PBS Utah).
- Water Is Life: Quality Matters, a project of Utah State University Extension Services.
- Glen Canyon Dam Online Exhibit, presented by Utah Division of State History.
Books, Films, and Resources for Educators
- October 17 - December 13, 2020 | Museum on Main Street Water Ways Exhibition, Kanab Heritage Museum, Kanab
- August 22 - October 11, 2020 | Museum on Main Street Water Ways Exhibition, Fremont Indian State Park Museum, Sevier Valley
- January 27-28, 2020 | Museum on Main Street Water Ways Utah Team Program Planning Workshop, Richfield and Sevier
- August 12-13, 2019 | Museum on Main Street Water Ways Utah Team Orientation Workshop, Salt Lake City
- October 6, 2020 | Smithsonian Exhibition, Water|Ways, Kicks Off Utah Tour with Opening at the Fremont Indian State Park
- August 20, 2020 | Smithsonian Exhibition, Water|Ways, Continues Utah Tour at the Kanab Heritage Museum
- September 9, 2020 | Smithsonian Water | Ways exhibit debuts, The Richfield Reaper
- July 29, 2020 | Snow College Richfield selected as a host for Smithsonian exhibit, The Richfield Reaper
- July 17, 2020 | Contact with Mary Dixon: John Wesley Powell River History Museum - New Exhibition, PBS Utah video portal
- July 10, 2020 | Our River is Our Community, Moab Sun Times
- January 15, 2020 | Hyrum museum and BRHA putting the call out for water exhibit, Cache Valley Daily (with audio link to interview on KVNU’s For the People)
- January 15, 2020 | Smithsonian seeks companion displays for upcoming Water/Ways exhibit, Cache Valley Daily
Many thanks to our vital partners and generous funders for their support of Think Water Utah, and to Justin McFarland, photographer of the Great Salt Lake Causeway.