Kern Oil

In the dystopian spirit of Monsanto, Nestle, and Chevron, this project imagines Kern County, California transformed into a region where water is entirely owned by private enterprise, whether by a corporate entity, a small farmer, or even a suburban homeowner flushing his own toilet. All water, in all its shades of existence from freshwater to grey and brackish water become valued commodity, and their potential of production is increased with the scarcity of their assets. At the same time, because clear lines cannot be drawn between true ownership of this viscous material, Kern County is forced to form an integrated machine of water sharing.

This project proposes a combinatory layering of pre-existing technologies and recycling techniques and pushes them to their extreme. Brackish water extracted during oil drilling is recycled and reused for agricultural irrigation. Shifts in seismic activity create new geological basins, altering surface water retention channels. Suburbia turns inward to recycle all forms of bodily water for home gardening, while the city uses their smog problems to provide shading and fertilizer for the urban farms. All the while, advancements in genetic modification have created the super-kernel or “Kern-Oil,” a food product that can both absorb, recycle and distribute the various qualities of water and be used for numerous applications like biofuel, medicine, and animal and human feed.

Competition Entry for Dry Futures

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