Reservoir: a techno-natural fix?

Author(s): Al Lim

Type: Photograph

Department: Department of Geography and Environment

Exhibit no: 5

The Pong Jor Reservoir in Chiang Mai province was built in the 20th century as a technical solution to remedy the nearby village's water shortage, influenced by high-modernist urban planning ideology. The reservoir dries up during drought, resulting in acute water shortage, unable to address the original problem it was trying to solve.

It literally reshaped the earth as a technocratic fix, but its decontextualized approach has failed and even created new forms of socio-spatial inequality in the village. How can we thus better shape our world by understanding the limits of technical fixes?

Acknowledgements: Yale-NUS College Urban Studies Capstone Funding.