In general, this boundary is concerned with the global consumption of freshwater. Human alterations of water bodies cause shifts in river flow and vapor flow patterns due to land use changes, which can result in abrupt and irreversible changes to the hydrological system. The shortage of water is becoming more acute and by 2050, it is projected that around half a billion people will face water scarcity, increasing the need for intervention in water management.
A candle was found to be a suitable everyday object as incorporates a melting process and creates a flame that symbolizes the burning planet. The idea for this boundary’s object is to incorporate tipping points in a literal manner into the artifact to make it lose its functionality at a certain point of burning.
The tipping of the candle is achieved by manipulating the object’s centre of gravity. The melting of wax decreases the mass of the object on one side up to a point of no return, with a higher value of CO2 concentration in the atmosphere leading to a quicker destabilization of the object. The candle would not just loose its functionality but would also pose a serious threat of burning down the house, just as our current way of living will have substantial consequences for humankind and our planet.
A glass was picked as a suitable object to indicate the human consumption of water. If the global freshwater consumption is above the critical threshold, a simulation deforms the glass, making it unsuitable to drink from.
In the current scope of this project, it was not possible to produce actual glasses, so transparent 3D prints are used as prototypes.
global freshwater use
in trillion cubic tons