Drought, rain, water & pollies – part 2

Continuing from Part 1:

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3. Consumption has grown

Not only do we have more people than 15 years ago, their use has gone up.

Just look from the air next time you fly on a commercial airliner over a major Australian city. Look at the number of backyard pools. There has been major growth in the use of backyard pools over the last 20 years. In the driest continent we allow these things to be dotted around, happily evaporating. They have to be filled from somewhere. The typical backyard pool loses half its water per year in evaporation.

Ditto for spas. How many new houses have a spa? These days it hard to sell a house wihtout a spa. These things are water gobblers, along with cottage gardens, and lawns.

The great populace have had their expectations raised, and expect and DEMAND that they can have a pool or spa, or both! And woe betide a politician who is brave enough to try and take them away.

4. Stupid agriculture

Why, in a dry country, do we grow rice? It might make sense to grow rice in the far north of Australia where the climate is more tropical and there is a lot more rain. But growing rice by IRRIGATION in NSW and Victoria is lunacy.

I used to support Australian farmers, and buy Australian rice. Not any more. I’ll try very hard to buy imported rice, and I urge everybody else to do the same. Growing rice in Australia is immoral.

Similarly, why do we grow cotton? The same arguments apply.

I’ll be even harsher about cotton. The pesticide sprays required are terrible things.

Australia should import cotton, which would deliver two benefits: we would not waste water growing it, and some other country can go and screw up their environment with the pesticides.

Cubby Station is criminal.

And another one: Why do we allow vast amounts of irrigated pasture in Victoria for milk cows? Once upon a time, before monster road tankers, each state had a local dairy industry. Now so much comes from Victoria that locals struggle to compete. The Victorians use oodles of irrigation water, the locals don’t. The irrigation water is way too cheap.

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Next part coming soon.

3 Comments

Hmm. I think this has come up a couple of times in the past. I think Goyder’s line was an SA Great Idea for saving water. Only farm in areas not prone to drought. …Duh.

Comment by Don | October 17th, 2006 10:07 am | Permalink

Link to info on Cubby Station : http://www.abc.net.au/am/content/2004/s1139216.htm

Comment by Duncan Margetts | October 17th, 2006 1:20 pm | Permalink

Here speaketh the foreigner: See later post about Goyders line.

Comment by Wally | October 21st, 2006 9:36 am | Permalink

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