Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Water Madness

The current bunch of politicians here in Australia are struggling with the problem of, the lack of water. There are a couple of main areas of concern.
Watering the ever increasing city population, and saving the Murray Darling river system. The city dwellers rely on dam water to drink, wash, water, play etc. We do everything in the same water. We haven't developed a two tier system of water delivery. We also haven't been very good at recycling water either. In fact we have just relied on rain to fill our dams and up until a few years back that is exactly what happened. Now it doesn't and we think it has something to do with climate change. If that is the case, it is going to be a long slow process to change that back.
The Murray river falls into a similar category except it's water is taken to irrigate the farms that feed us and provide export dollars. So in a way we have been exporting our water through water usage.

Now when you are up against a rock and hard place you should really look to finding solutions that all of us can contribute to. And to a certain extent that is what we have been doing, at least here in the city. We have been on water restrictions for a few years now and we have been saving a lot of water. We have learnt to live with less.
The state government in Victoria has decided to opt for a desalination plant, [the biggest in the southern hemisphere] There are many reasons not to use this method of water collection I refer you to this Article in the Age on some options that we could use here that makes sense.

I heard today that the Federal government is having problems securing water from the Murray river. You see over the years the States and Federal governments have sold off water rights to the rivers to farmers. Now they want it back to SAVE the river and the license owners can see the government coming with millions of dollars in compensation.
My question is why don't we compulsorily reprocess the water. Save the river and find ways to make it a strong sustainable river again. We could get water from Tasmania that could help achieve this. No good paying people for the water that doesn't even exist at the moment. Forget the economists view of this world for a while and start seeing it as sustainable problem. That is, it may not have to be a totally economic answer, but through good leadership we can find solutions that are sustainable.
Any which way you look at these problems, the supply demand model that has been used for the last 100 or more years may have run it's course. At least for the time being, and in specific areas.