Drylab: A 30-Day Challenge To Live Water Wise

Event description

  • Free
  • Open to the public
  • Sustainability

In 2017, eight ASU students lived for 30 days in an abandoned motel in Amboy, California, on 4 gallons of water a day (per person) to experience life under extreme water scarcity (the usual water usage patterns for Tempe are 80-100 gallons/day). This art-sustainability project was called Drylab 2023, because it envisioned a near future (2023) where the Southwest would experience a severe water crisis. The participants shared their experiences via social media, and you can still find their stories on this website.


Now, in 2023, we are experiencing an actual water crisis in the US southwest. The original Drylab team came together to instigate this challenge, contribute water-wise prompts, and will be interacting with current challenge participants calling upon their experiences. 


We invite you to participate in this 30 day challenge and engage in creative and innovative ways with your everyday use of water. The challenge is pretty simple: each day, there is a new prompt and an action to take. Pick at least 7 action items to commit to this month, and you can leave comments on our Instagram posts to share your experience.


Welcome and video introducing Drylab

Panel discussion with original participants

Presentation of 30 day challenge initiative

Guest speakers about the future of water in AZ

Reception with waterwise refreshments

Bio for each event participant:

Shalae Flores is an Afro-Latina, desert-blossomed phoenikera who writes and talks about abolition and reimagining safety & wellness for all 💚🌵.

Willa Gibbs is a writer and creator interested in the material world we leave behind. She currently works at a public library that fights to provide free and uncensored information.

Sarra Tekola has a doctorate in Sustainability with a focus on decolonization as a solution to climate change. They are a cofounder of Black Lives Matter Phoenix Metro and the Phoenix Environmental Justice Coalition where they work on transforming Frontline BIPOC communities in Phoenix.

Living between Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in territory (Dawson City, Yukon) and Kjipuktuk (Halifax, Nova Scotia), Krista Davis is a visual artist whose work proposes strategies to reimagine ourselves within larger ecological systems.

Molly Koehn is an artist and designer whose work focuses on urban structure, expansion and ecology.

Cydnei Mallory is an Interdisciplinary artist interested in the materiality and psyche of the labored body. Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, she currently resides in Phoenix, Arizona, and works as an associate teaching professor in the School of Art at ASU.

Sydney Carlson holds degrees in sustainability and community development from Arizona State University and currently works as an educator at a public high school in Glendale, Arizona.

Valerie Lyons is an artist and educator dedicated to cultivating care and responsibility for the nonhuman world.

The Phoenix Environmental Justice Coalition focuses on tackling the systemic roots of climate injustices that disproportionately affect communities of color and other frontline communities.

Arizona Water Council representative

Youth representatives: High school representatives from various schools in the Phoenix area.

Marco Janssen is a sustainability scientist who does research on how people govern shared resources in the lab, field, cyberspace and outer space. He is co-director of drylab2023.

Adriene Jenik is an artist, educator and death doula who resides in the desert. In her work she develops and shares creative processes that support personal introspection, social critique, community building and cultural transformation. She is co-director of drylab2023.

Ame Min-Venditti is a creative inquirer in the realm of diverse water knowledges and a doctoral student in sustainability at ASU.

Francesca Federico is a PhD student in sustainability at ASU. She studies individuals’ behavior and decision-making processes to find ways to promote cooperation among people. 


Project website:



This event is hosted by Desert Humanities Initiative of Institute for Humanities Research.

Event contact

Victoria Day

Sunday, October 1, 2023


2:00 pm4:00 pm (MST)


A.E. England Building