Things are looking pretty shit in Australia, drought-wise. We’re supposed to get most of our rain in Spring (which is now). It didn’t happen at all last year and it’s looking disturbingly like it isn’t going to happen this year. Most of the country has been facing drought conditions for more than 10 years now making it the worst drought on record. With no Spring rain things would move way beyond critical.
Right now it seems the most moisture on farmlands is coming from farmers cutting their wrists. The current dire situation has made it clear sitting around waiting for it to rain is not a viable solution. It would be nice if some action had been taken BEFORE things got critical but some people apparently need to be kicked in the balls repeatedly until they get the point. Steps like essentially re-routing rivers, desalination plants and the politically unpalatable option of water recycling are underway now.
People’s reaction to recycled water confounds me. They let their psychological problems with the concept (we’re essentially taking about treated sewage) trump the fact that they’ll have no fucking water without it. The water treatment facilities used in recycling mean the water they produce is as clean as, as safe as and tastes the same as water that comes straight from a reservoir. I can’t help thinking that people who can’t get past the mental image of this being poopy water deserve to die of thirst.
So there are a few ideas being followed to at least alleviate drought conditions. But after reading a story about China’s efforts to deal with their own drought problems, I think Australia is on the wrong track. Sure, China is building massive reservoirs and following other traditional approaches. But they’re also firing Big Fucking Guns. They have been aggressively pursuing cloud seeding for years by (among other things) firing artillery shells into clouds.
For any female readers who don’t get why this is so cool, it’s a guy thing. Big guns that make loud bangs are cool. I suspect being a farmer in an impoverished, drought stricken rural area of China is pretty damn hard. But hey, they’re being given rocket launchers and anti-aircraft guns to fire into the sky.
I think the Chinese authorities are on a huge winner here. First, it might actually work. Second, even if it doesn’t work, the farmers will be having so much fun firing the big guns they won’t mind so much. Actually, maybe too much fun. I can imagine a situation where after a lot of rain someone from the Party comes to check on the crops and find nothing was ever planted. When the Party official confronts the farmer he gets a blank look and the farmer says:
“I’m a what now? A farmer? Oh wow, sorry, I totally spaced on the whole farming thing. Firing this Big Fucking Gun is so cool I forgot I was meant to be doing anything else.”
9 responses to “Fun ways to break a drought”
I am with you wholeheartedly on this one, being a fellow Aussie but more importantly a rational being.
Numerous things piss me off about the way the drought crisis is being handled, but three things stand out:
(i) whenever we get enough rain to raise the dam levels, there is always some degree of talk about lifting water restrictions so some fuckwits in Mosman can hose down their driveways with impunity (surprise surprise, most fines for improper water use occur in wealthy suburbs)
(ii) that there is an all or nothing approach to recylced water – the attitude is that if we’re not going to gargle the stuff, there’s no point in using it at all. I guarantee water recycling as a concept would be better accepted if authorities took baby steps, and we started using it first for watering gardens, flushing toilets etc. Not to mention how many people drink tap water now as it is?
(iii) rainfall patterns have changed drastically over the last decade. Perhaps we should finally accept that the areas that traditionally got rain may not be so lucky in future, and that we might be better off building additional, smaller catchment in areas where it actually *does* rain. That might involve knocking down a few Westfields, here or there…
Hasn’t pretty much every bit of fresh water been poopy water at some point? We have a finite amount of fresh water and the majority of it gets put through the water cycle many, many times. Maybe everyone can snag a few buckets as the glaciers thaw. It seems that re-routing lightly processed “gray” water to the toilets could help as well.
Kittenish: I love the casual “knock down a few Westfields”. You’re right, but vested interests always win out over common sense.
E0157H7: I agree, the whole phobia of recycled water is psychological – there’s no rational basis for it.
An English MP think swe should flush our toilets only once a week to conserve water!
We have a drought problem as well here in Greece, although from the sound of things it’s not nearly as bad here as it is there. Still, it warms my heart to see (mostly old) people watering trees every day. And they’re not even their trees. It’s the ones on the sidewalk. What the hell goes on in their mind is beyond me. It’s not like they need the water either. These kinds of trees have been here for millenia. I’m pretty sure they’ve adjusted to the climate by now.
Best of all however is people hosing down the sidewalk itself. Wasting water to move dirt two meters to the gutter apparently makes sense. After all it’s not like you could use a broom. And yet if I went around smacking random people in the street I’d be the bad guy.
Hey Mr A, I couldn’t be fucked looking it up myself, but I’d like to know how much area is taken up by Melbourne/Sydney/Canberra/pick a towns roofs. As in, each house has a square meterage, and when it rains, all that water (hundreds or thousands of square kilometres, probably) goes literally down the drain. As an example, I used to go to Heathmont High School, and had to go over Dandenong Creek to get home. After a moderate amount of rain, that creek ran like a fucking raging torrent. And it all went straight into the bay.
If the government spent $1000 on each house, and gave every bastard a water tank, and said “Right, fuckers, this is the water to water your garden, hose down your driveway, and wash your car. If your empty the fucker, you can’t water your garden/hose down the driveway/wash the car. That’s it. If we catch you using mains water to fill the tank, or for any of the above purposes, we’ll fine your ass $750 for the first offence. Second offence, we double the fine. Third offence, we inject your kids with speed, and lock you in the house with them for three days. Fourth offence, we send Mr Angry around.”
I live on tank water, and don’t have mains at all. I wash my clothes/water my garden in bore water, and bathe in and drink the tank water. My water bill is great. Not one red fucking cent.
All these people bitching and moaning about how hard done by they are, because there’s some dust on their mercedes benz… FUCK OFF YOU USELESS PIECES OF SHIT! Lick the bastard clean, if it means so much to you. Or buy a water tank and a pump. Use some fucking initiative.
At least there’s some steps in the right direction…new homes requiring water tanks, housing estates using grey water for toilets/gardens (at least i think they did a few years back).
Its a shame that the pollies have to be so short-sighted that nothing will be done until its a dire situation. Any talk of avoiding a problem is election browny points.
Perhaps we need a revised system where pollies may be in for 3 years but remain accountable for their fuckups and short-sightedness for 10-15 years
Achelios: If it’s yellow let it mellow, if it’s brown, flush it down!
DOA: That Greek habit of washing down footpaths migrated to Australia
Gruntski: Absolutely spot on the money, mate! One of the biggest problem with water (and pretty much every other problem in the world come to think of it) is people’s self-absorbtion and self indulgence.
Will: The accountability is an awesome idea but as pollies would have to vote on it it’s obviously never going to happen
I don’t know why they bothered asking anyone about whether they liked the idea of recycled water or not. We don’t get asked about anything else. The government just does whatever the hell they want every other time. When it comes to something that might actually help solve a problem they feel the need to ask everyone and surprise surprise- no one wants to drink sewerage. Just recycle the water, don’t tell Today Tonight, and put it in the system and get on with it. Or better yet, call it diet water and then the stupid pricks that didn’t want to drink will now pay $1 a litre to drink it.