H2O Today is a global water story at the Iziko South African Museum which tells the story of Earth as a water planet.

H2O Today: Iziko South African Museum

The exhibition, organised by the Smithsonian Institution Travelling Exhibition Service (SITES), examines the diversity and challenges of water sources worldwide and promotes conversation, creativity and innovation through art, science and technology.

H2O Today is part of the Smithsonian’s #ThinkWater Initiative to raise awareness of water as a critical resource for life. Using immersive content, interactive activities, and digital media, this international exhibition – supplemented with Iziko curated African content and collections objects – brings a global conversation at a critical time within the Western Cape context, having recently experienced the worst water crisis in living memory.

71 percent of Earth is water

H2O Today dives into what it means to live on a planet where 71 percent of the surface is covered in water, of which less than three percent is drinkable. The exhibition highlights water’s criticality in daily life worldwide through water power, industry, agriculture and home use. It explores the science of water from the hydrological cycle, weather and climate to its physical power as an architect and sculptor of landscape. The exhibition showcases global examples and striking imagery augmented with audiovisual material that tells the story of Earth as the water planet, water as our home, ways that water shapes culture, rising tides and sea level rise, and innovative solutions to some of the planet’s greatest water challenges.

An immersive 3D artwork of Victoria Falls, anthropology objects that chronicle the evolution of the water canister from an ostrich egg used by the Khoi San to the plastic water bottles that we use today, a selection of iconic images that document Cape Town’s water crisis, specimens from Iziko’s collections that showcase the aquatic life of Table Mountain and the two oceans flanking it, and a time lapse of tidal waters that influence Cape Town’s rich marine biodiversity, present an African and local context.

Inclusive conversation

“Water scarcity is not a uniquely Cape Town story – it is a shared global phenomenon. H2O Today, brought to South Africa in partnership with the US Consulate in Cape Town and the Smithsonian Institution, is an example of a multi-dimensional relationship enabling an inclusive conversation at this critical time. It demonstrates how museums can create awareness of relevant societal issues”, says Ms Rooksana Omar, CEO, Iziko Museums of South Africa.

What: H2O Today

Where and when: Iziko South African Museum, Gardens daily from 9am to 5pm