Within the array of fictions and imaginations of disaster produced by various cultures, those concerned with water are some of the most universal and revealing. From Gilgamesh to Noah or the Great Flood of Gun-Yu, water is recognized as a foundation of life and harbinger of catastrophe come to purify the world and begin anew. Embedded in our understanding of the atmospheric and environmental vicissitudes associated with the “climate crisis,” water is an essential signifier of current transformations. It is our reliance on this life-giving element that renders our perception of climate change and its corresponding droughts, sea-level rise, riverine floods, and hurricanes so impactful. After all, while the hydrological cycle is a singularity, where humanity fits into that cycle is a question of life and death. The global temperature rise is transforming what was once cultural myth into an inevitable reality.
Keywords: essay, architecture, environmental systems, critical theory.