Sunday, July 30, 2006

Taking the Piss

Just back from a couple of days at the beach in
Mandurah. As you can see, in contrast to the soaring temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere, our little trip to the seaside took place in freezing winds and, for all but a few hours, heavy rain.

And this is a good thing.

Australia is currently in the grip of a major drought. Dam levels in New South Wales are down to less than half, while here in WA they're hovering at closer to a quarter of capacity. Before I left Sydney there was talk of desalination plants being started up in the not-too-distant future, with a significant outcry aimed against the projects. The latest measures to combat the lack of water promise to go even further, though.

The Queensland city of Toowoomba voted in a referendum yesterday, coming down overwhelmingly against a proposal to start recycling water for drinking purposes. Recycled water is already used for non-drinking purposes in many areas but the 'gag factor' is just too great for people to knock back a glass of treated H20. The Federal Water spokesman, however, has suggested that the time is fast approaching when many inland areas will have no choice.

Guess the desalination plants are suddenly sounding more attractive ...


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