Jess Benjamin’s artwork focuses on water usage in the Great Plains area: a regional concern that is related to the phenomenon of global drought and overconsumption of natural resources. As the daughter of a Nebraska farmer and rancher, Benjamin has witnessed the drought-like conditions in the Midwest throughout her life. Below the Midwest lies the greatest underground water reserve in the world, the Ogallala Aquifer.
The United States has become increasingly dependent on commodities that require large quantities of diminishing water from the aquifer. Through research on water, Benjamin has discovered many structural similarities between intake towers, jackstones, and molecules of water and ethanol. Cartographic color, surface texture, and scale are used to aid in the understanding of water levels and drought conditions. Benjamin hopes to convey to the viewer the need to protect and preserve the aquifer, which contains our most precious resource, water.