Drylab 2023: Living a possible future with resource scarcity

Marcus Janssen, Adriene Jenik, Sarra Z. Tekola, Krista L. Davis, Shalae Flores, Willa Gibbs, Molly Koehn, Valerie Lyons, Cydnei Mallory, Sydney Rood, Séverin Guelpa, Luz Andrea Pfister

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


We report on an art and sustainability project, inspired by sustainable living and by the work of Elinor Ostrom, in which the authors experienced a not-too-distant future of water scarcity in an isolated location in the Mojave Desert for four weeks. We restricted our water use to ≤ 15.1 L/day (4 gallons) water per person and consumed a water-wise vegan diet. Here, we report and reflect on our experience of this art and sustainability project. We show that, as participants, we had no difficulty adjusting to a resource-scarce environment or living in a remote location. Our experience showed that (temporary) behavioral change is possible to cope with extreme resource scarcity without a net negative effect on the quality of life. Future replications of such art and sustainability projects in safer environments could become spaces for science, art, and innovation for more sustainable lifestyles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number8
JournalEcology and Society
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2018


  • Art and sustainability
  • Collective action
  • Commons
  • Governance
  • Water
  • Water scarcity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology


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