What is Water Alternatives Photo Library?

Water Alternatives is launching a collaborative photo library of high quality water-related pictures.

Photos of interest are characterized by their originality, the way they illustrate a particular aspect of water, and their technical quality. We focus on pictures showing artefacts, infrastructures, actors, animals, water landscapes and original situations, on fresh water environments, and do not contemplate purely aesthetical pictures of water in nature (such as a sunset over a lake, because there are many such collections elsewhere).

Pictures are stored, displayed and made available on a dedicated Flickr website.

Like our research papers, photos are available to all under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial License, which permits any non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Your pictures will be potentially used by friends and colleagues for teaching, presentations, websites, illustrations of papers or books, etc. Share your best pictures with others rather than leaving them unused in a hard disk or before they are lost!

How can I contribute my photos to WaA's photo library?

You can use two methods to share your pictures with us:

Fast track: Make your own selection first and use the 'Send your photos' menu on the left to send/upload them in one click. There is no limitation to the number of pictures you can submit.

We will then make our own selection and send you a print screen of the thumbnails for you to provide a title for each photo, information on the place, and additional context whenever useful. However we might leave out photos of interest for lack of understanding of the context or what makes them interesting.

When uploading your photos you will be asked your name. Please also provide your email so that we can contact you. Alternatively send a message to photos@water-alternatives.org with your email address and a quick overall description of the set of pictures sent (e.g. 'photos of rural water supply in Tanzania').

Smart track:

For each picture selected you need to name the file with a short description (e.g. 'Paddy fields in Bali'; 'Farmers pumping wastewater, Algeria', 'Main pump station of the Central Arizona Project', etc).

Provide additional information for each photo

  • the author of the photo (by default you, unless otherwise stated)

Whenever needed

  • a short comment: describe what the situation shows in a few words (providing context enhances the understanding of the situation and the interest of your picture); in particular indicate where the photo has been taken (even approximate e.g. 'upper Krishna river basin', 'Walawe irrigation scheme', 'Cochabamba suburbs', 'Central Nile delta',..). You may even add a URL to a publication that is relevant or linked to the photo.

This information can be compiled in a separate doc file or directly entered in the metadata of your pictures, using your file manager. For more information on how to attach information to your pictures pdf download this file (831 KB) .

Will my photos automatically be included in WaA's photo selection?

The editors make their own selection as to which proposed photo will be retained in the library, with the aim of ensuring a very high quality in the library. This is a curated photo library. As the collection grows and improves in quality, some pictures may be removed to improve the overall quality of the collection.

20 categories have been defined for a start (see below) but more categories will probably be added, depending on the pictures sent to us and the suggestions made my members.

How can I search for specific photos in the library?

Photos are classified into 20 categories, but some pictures may sometimes belong to several categories (e.g. 'Indigenous technology' and 'Lifting surface water'). You may also search by country, author or any keyword by using the search function. The search field on top of the windows is used for the whole Flickr site. To search our library only 1) first display photos in 'Gallery' mode, 2) click on the lense below the header, and then 3) enter your search word in the top search field, as shown below.

Flickr search700


20 categories have been defined for a start (see below) but more categories will probably be added, depending on the pictures sent to us and the suggestions made my members.

For any question or suggestion please send a message to photos@water-alternatives.org

Enjoy browsing our water photo library!