Basia Irland is an author, poet, sculptor, installation artist, and activist who creates international water projects, many of which are featured in her book, Water Library, published in 2007 by University of New Mexico Press. The book focuses on projects the artist has created over three decades in Africa, Canada, Europe, South America, Southeast Asia, and the United States. Through her work, Irland offers a creative understanding of water while examining how communities of people, plants, and animals rely on this vital element. Irland is Professor Emerita, Department of Art and Art History, University of New Mexico, where she established the Arts and Ecology Program.
She often works with scholars from diverse disciplines building rainwater harvesting systems; connecting communities and fostering dialogue along the entire length of rivers; filming and producing water documentaries; and creating waterborne disease projects around the world, most recently in Egypt, Ethiopia, India, and Nepal. She is regularly commissioned to do river restoration projects.