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A world of water, as seen by Canada's first space tourist

In 2009, Cirque du Soleil co-founder Guy Laliberté paid $35-million for a round-trip ticket to the International Space Station, where he trained his lens on several of the Earth's endangered water systems. He plans to auction limited large-scale prints to raise money for the initiative One Drop

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Water from the Nubian aquifer, which runs under the Sahara for some two million square kilometres, has been locked into the ground for millions of years.

© 2009 Guy Laliberté

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Kazakhstan’s Lake Balkhash, with a surface area of more than 16,000 square kilometres, is the second-largest lake in Central Asia. Fed mainly by the Ili River, the western half is fresh water, while the eastern part is salty.

© 2009 Guy Laliberté

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Northern California's Mount Shasta is the second-highest peak in the Cascades. It bears seven glaciers and four volcanic cones, and last erupted in 1786.

© 2009 Guy Laliberté

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At an average altitude of 4,500 metres, Tibet’s Ngari Prefecture is known as the "pinnacle of the roof of the world." In this sparsely populated region, Lake Duli Shihu is one of 1,500 lakes that adorn the beautiful Tibetan landscape.

© 2009 Guy Laliberté

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The Qaidam Basin is located in Haixi Mongol and Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in China. Qaidam means "salt" in Mongolian, in reference to the major salt deposits found in the basin.

© 2009 Guy Laliberté

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Libya suffers from drought and depends mainly on groundwater to meet the needs of its inhabitants, industry and agriculture including this central pivot irrigation.

© 2009 Guy Laliberté

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Canada has 615 first nations communities, including the Cree reserves of Fort Albany and Kashechewan, on the banks of James Bay. Fort Albany, founded in 1905 and subsequently divided into two distinct communities, has long been an important trading post, a hub for the fur trade. About 2,100 people now live in these two sister communities, blighted by many social and environmental ills.

© 2009 Guy Laliberté

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The Gulf of Mexico, known as the "Mediterranean of the Americas," is the ninth-largest body of water in the world.

© 2009 Guy Laliberté

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In 2009 Cirque du Soleil co-founder Guy Laliberté become the first Canadian space tourist, paying $35-million for a round trip ticket to the International Space Station. And like any good tourist, he brought his camera. He primarily trained his lens on a number of the earth’s endangered water systems and plans on auctioning limited large-scale prints to raise money for the initiative One Drop.

Frédérique Ménard-Aubin

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