Flush with water
In Australia, even more than most of the world, water is at a premium.
The current Government answer is to tax water at such a high rate that water usage diminishes. While this is known to not work, it becomes a source of revenue.
Perhaps another answer is to increase water availability. The ‘flow on’ effects for this would be obvious. Faster Greening of the land, aids to cheaper production, and of course, taxpayer/voter satisfaction.
Certainly creating more dams is expensive, but is an obvious solution. In the long term (yes, beyond an electoral term) this is a major requirement. A network of pipelines is also required. Pumps that are powered by passive solar and wind are also required. But that isn’t all.
All new housing builds must be far more sustainable in their energy use and production than they currently are. Currently water flows from the roof to the gutter to the downpipe to the sewer and eventually, out to sea. That was bad planning and is now unsustainable. The infrastructure of cities needs to be altered to reflect the way we live.
All new home builds require water catchment, retention and the ability to use that water, just as is still done on rural properties. This has to be a part of the building code. The most basic commodity of life (after air) is water and yet it is being taxed out of reach of people.
Even if the water that was retained by the household was only enough to flush toilets before it went to the sewer system, gigalitres would be saved daily.
This should not remove the obligation of the government to supply clean water to the household, simply relieve the strain on the current system.
The government must undertake massive water catchment projects, although, it is doubtful that the traditional reservoir is the only answer. Scientists will remind us that more than 50% of water is lost to evaporation in traditional dams. Perhaps where they are used, they need to be stocked with fish and surrounded with vegetation to provide breeding grounds for life, food sources and abundance that we are stripping from the environment in other ways daily.
Wind farms are springing up across the nation, providing electrical power in a renewable way. The old Southern Cross windmills doggedly pull water from artesian aquifers to maintain livestock across the country. Perhaps a percentage of the new wind farms resources can be aimed at pumping water from aquifers, powering a network of pumps and pipelines and diverting our flood waters to manageable dams and reservoirs.
Flood management is a critical issue also – while flooding will never stop, there has been no concerted effort to redirect and retain flood water, simply to discharge it to sea as rapidly as possible. The simple fact is that Australia has plenty of water, but it has been easier to tax its use than to redirect its availability. Methods must ne employed to not only control flash flooding, but to retain the water productively. We do not need to engage in massive terraforming projects, but we do need to invent, produce, and adapt technology to harness the resources that we have.
Our sustainable future needs to be wise, balanced and do-able… not just some pie-in-the-sky Green Dream.
Please – your links are requested. I don’t want to just rant at Governments, I want to consolidate thoughts & create a groundswell that will actively change a failing system.
Further Reading on this topic: [link]