[+] Project Information

In 2009, to enhance the educational efforts of the Phoenix Water Services Department, the Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture’s Public Art Program commissioned D. Bryon Darby to explore the story of water. Over the next two years Darby worked closely with the City Water Services Department, the Salt River Project, and the Office of Arts and Culture to create a portfolio of photographic work that stands as a document for future generations.

As a conceptual base, Darby focused his pursuits on tracing the theoretical path of the
Phoenix water supply from Central Phoenix back through the Salt River Project and Central Arizona Project canals to the Salt, Verde, and Colorado rivers while a sub-narrative reveals the mechanical and chemical process of water treatment and production. The resulting body of work is a poetic look at the modern practice and history of water delivery and processing in the desert.

These photographs were commissioned by the City of Phoenix through the Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture’s Public Art Program.

Control Room  

Filtration Basins  

Electrical Box  

Office Desk  

Control Room  


Impound Pump  

Carbon Slurry Spray  

Power Generator  

Sedimentation Basins  

Plant Exit  


Solids Centrifuges  

Backwash Plumbing  



Sedimentation Basins  

Flocculation Motors  


Old Control Room  

Phone / Evacuation Plan  

Control Room  

Backwash Plumbing  

Carbon Slurry Pumping Station  

Treatment Plant  


Chemical Tanks  

Mixed Sludge  

Solids Conveyors  

Solids Centrifuges