Hidden Lines- Heilongjiang Province

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This cartographic montage explores the embedded water found in the soybean which is used mainly as feed in the livestock sector of China’s agricultural food system. With the exponential rise in the middle class population, there is an increased demand for animal proteins. To produce livestock, animal feed derived from soybeans require large amounts of land and water for irrigation. Northeast China’s rich belt of black soil became the country’s main producer of grains. 74% of the provinces water supply was used on acres of farmland found in Heilongjiang province, lined with thousands of linear meters of drip irrigation tubing (connected to an extensive irrigation network) in planted rows of soybean crops. Unfortunately, the runoff from these fields contributed to 3.81 million metric tons of ammonia and nitrogen in the provinces wastewater. The contamination of the surrounding water bodies with agricultural chemicals make the water unfit for human contact. Furthermore, In response to increasing demand for animal feed, China relies on importing virtual/ water” found in the form of soy beans from Brazil, US and Argentina. Tapping into the globalized flows of water and transportation networks- invisible lines of vectors appear and disappear in the sky, on the ground and in the soil.

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