Looking for Water

Jul 30, 2008   //   by myrakelly   //   water  //  4 Comments

Today, in the midst of a storm I went looking for water. Inspired by Daniel Vitalis, my raw vegan buddy and I drove out to the Petone Aquifer also known as Te Puna Wai Ora or Spring of Life to collect water. At the site there is a set of vessel shaped sculptures, one a fountain and the other with taps providing pure untreated artesian water direct from the aquifer below. I had been on a hunt for a local spring and this was the next best thing I could find. From what I understand the difference between spring water and aquifer water is this: an aquifer, according wikipedia, is an underground layer of water-bearing permeable rock or unconsolidated materials (gravel, sand, silt, or clay) from which groundwater can be usefully extracted. A spring is where water from the aquifer meets the grounds surface.

Te Puna Wai Ora was designed by New Zealand artist Louise Purvis to symbolise a water oasis. What a perfect place to collect water from! Two of my favourite things art and water! So how does this magical drink get from the ground into this sculpture? Well, the water originally comes from the Hutt River where it makes it’s way to the aquifer starting up in Taita Gorge. Over several years it make it’s way through said aquifer (layers of sand gravels and boulders confined by impermeable layers of silt and clay) until it eventually meets up with the Petone foreshore. It actually seeps up through the seabed of the harbour all the way out to the mouth of the harbour!

We managed to fill two 20 litre non-leaching plastic containers and a couple of extra mason jars each in the pouring rain and we weren’t the only ones there either. It’s a busy place! You can really taste the minerals in there. Seeya later tap water. Next step, vortexing…