Thursday, April 30, 2009

Who Drinks Water Anyway

Water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink. More Aussie nonsense for Theme Thursday. It's been a hellish week and my sense of humour has left me dry as a dead dingo's donger but here goes.

I live on the world's largest island continent. Apparently as our national anthem would have us believe we are 'girt' by sea so water is everywhere along the coast and pretty much nowhere in the centre. The problem with the apparent propensity of gulf water is it's salty. No good for drinking, no good for irrigation. Oh Hai! Let's build a salt water chlorination plant that will service 5,000 homes for a gazillion dollars . . mmmm one gazillion dollorrres . . .

We've been under 'water restrictions' for nigh (does anyone say 'nigh' anymore) on 10 years. Drought still ravages north western NSW and QLD and SA. Hay is $19 a bale - the horse owner's barometer on drought recovery - we're not allowed to use a hose and can only water plants twice a week. Bushfires in Victoria from Christmas are a direct result of poor rains and land management (well and an arsonist or two).

The more resourceful of us capture our grey water from the washing machine and plough it on the garden or stand in showers with a bucket at hand to succour every drop. Prices have increased 100 fold to encourage us to become the great unwashed and yet . come January while Victoria is burning, north Queensland floods. In February NSW has it's highest rainfall for, um a lot of years, except in the catchments and Kakadu comes to life as it always does with the torrential monsoon rains.

We buy water in bottles because apparently our tap water isn't good enough (rubbish). We have shower saving devices that mean even someone my size has to run around to get wet. We've invented new things like 'drip feed' irrigation and yet our water management policies suck ass.

Why? In a country that is so deprived of water do we have open irrigation channels in parched areas? Why? In a country that is so deprived of water do we feel the need to have clean cars? Why? In a country that is so deprived of water do we feel the need to hose leaves from our driveways? Why in a country so deprived of water are we one of the worlds exporters of rice and cotton?

I have a solution. Charge an INCREDIBLE amount for water usage. I mean treble what we pay now. Stop Coca Cola mining our deep springs and putting it in bottles which only cause problems with landfill and dupe a susceptible public into believing it's actually better than what comes out of the tap. Seriously, people are less inclined to recycle water bottles than any other recyclable material. Charge $10 a bottle for your pretentious"Mineral Water" with the pink lid. Or recycle the bottle, fill it with perfectly pure tap water and pretend! Shit! We do!

Build catchments where it rains . .you wouldn't believe it but the major Sydney catchment is way west at a place called Warragamba where it hardly ever rains. Fuck the NIMBY's and ploink one in Epping or selubrious Beecroft because it always rains there. They're forever complaining that their gum trees fall over after a storm . Why? Too much overwatering!

Stop believing these nutritionists that tell you 8 glasses of water a day is healthy. It isn't, you pee in it, you brush your teeth with it, you brew a cup of tea with it, you make wine with it . . . for God's sake there's no need to drink it straight. It's just not meant to be drunk on it's own. Why do you think they invented cordial or cold distillation? Water is so boring it needed flavour!

Get this, if I want to use my pressure hose (which by the way uses less than 80% of water dispensed by a normal garden hose, it's illegal but I can pay someone to come and do it because they have a permit and their business depends upon it.





Then I'm OK cos I've got a speshal permit . .Landscapers get away with murder!

34 comments:

Ronda Laveen said...

That's CRAZY. You can't use the hose but you can pay others to use it. Who flippin' made up those rules? They must have a mighty charge for those "speshal" permits.

I think this is one of your best rants yet! I've read words I've never seen before: Hai, dead dingo's donger, girt, ploinked. Colorful rant, indeed!

Candie Bracci said...

wow really good post Baino.I didn't know about that and i'm learning a lot here.Crazy nonsense laws.Madness.

Grannymar said...

So are 'tinnies' cheaper then?

Brian Miller said...

dry as a dead dingo's donger...just how dry is that? lol.

thanks for the insights. that stinks. i enjoy my water so restrictions would tend to frustrate. any good reasons you could apply for a special use permit? maybe to water the dingos? lol.

Ropi said...

We can drink tap water. Hungary is in a lucky situation concerning water. We have a lot mineral water and this warm water from underground. However we have a lot dirt in the Danube which comes from other countries.

California Girl said...

Hey! Hugh Jackman is on Good Morning American promoting "Wolverine" or whatever his new X Men movie is called. What a hunk...

I know this has nothing to do with your post but he IS Australian. hahahahaha!

nick said...

Everyone makes quips about the rain in Ireland but it does mean we have no water shortage problems. I can't understand those Aussies who still casually waste water when the stuff's in such short supply. As for bottled water, I've only drunk it twice in my life, one of the biggest rip-offs ever. More and more Brits are finally seeing sense and asking for tapwater in restaurants.

hokgardner said...

We're in the midst of epic drought here in central Texas. Farmers are losing crops, cattle are thin because feed is so expensive. And yet . . . no major water restrictions here other than being limited to watering twice a week. We've had a week of rain, so people are talking about everything being back to normal, but we need a good 8 inches to even begin to catch up.

I consider my dusty car as a badge of honor.

Susan said...

I was hoping for a photo of the dead dingo's donger but, ah well. Great post--I printed it for times I get sick of the daily rainfall and stagnant mushy pools all over my swamp. If only we could share all our water with you to lower your bills, and experience a bit of drought ourselves!

Moon said...

I agree with the 8 pints thing, it's 8 pints for fluid ina day, including all the other things we digest....

also, that does explain why, after a days cricket in 40 Dg C of heat, only 3 of us showered .... smelly Aussies !!!

We are in the same boat here, water drought, when the North of the country sits underwater, surely a large pipeline would solve a few issues, but mainly the wastage of idiots hosing and watering everything down, and faulty sprinklers waters highway banks of dust .....

Clowns

laughingwolf said...

could not agree more, baino :(

btw, does #1 son not have a spayshul payermitt, he IS in da biz, no?

subtorp77 said...

Baino, love the opening line! Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner is one of my favourite poems.

And go figure on where the rain falls. I'm currently in New Mexico( where they badly need the rain ). Meanwhile, a few hundred miles away ( if that ), some places received up to 10" (and massive flooding, to boot ).

And there is a bloke in N.Y.C. selling tap water,from the tap, at a $1.50 per 1/2 litre bottle. It's the same thing as pulling it out of your own bloomin' tap! And that only costs 0.05 cents per gallon!

Baino said...

No actually Ronda the permits aren't so expensive but they have to be related to your business. Clearly a landscaper has to water plants and mix concrete - little hard with a bucket! One done though and the poor homeowner has to lug buckets to keep there garden watered. I think we can use a hose twice a week after 5 now.

I don't mind the water restrictions. We're a dry country Candie, except in the far north. Makes sense to be frugal.

Indeed they are Grannymar. A 600ml bottle of water can cost up to $3!

'Bout as dry as you can get out west. Leaves you with a mouth feeling like the bottom of a cocky's cage! Only those whose business is dependent upon water use can get a permit to go outside the current restrictions.

Ropi, our tap water is outstanding quality, that's why I don't understand the need for bottled water at all. Shame about the Danube, I saw it in the Alps and it's turqoise blue!

Cali, can't blame you for being distracted by shiny things . .he's cute alright!

Nick you're very lucky, it's a precious commodity here even after all the April rain we've had, the catchment is still only at about 60% and that serves all of Sydney. Farmers still struggle out west.

Hoki so do I! And believe me, it's dusty! I think in frequently drought ravaged states or countries, restrictions should be permanent.

Susan that would be great . .as would fat transplants, I'm waiting for them to become popular!

Moon, I can't stand wastage of any sort frankly but to see people hosing leaves is heartbraking and they do it with such carelessness. The Government gives away free shower heads and tap aeraters to encourage us to exchange them for the more wasteful water users. Mine's pretty good actually, you'd never know.

Yes, Wuffa, that's his permit in the photo. Needed for plant watering and cement mixing. But he doesn't abuse it other than when he draws aliens on trees with a pressure hose!

tut-tut said...

You bring up so many good points, Baino. washing cars, Coca-Cola! Watch out for them, for sure.

The Silver Fox said...

In the state of Massachusetts, in the USA, we have a 5-cent deposit on soda cans and bottles, but not on other containers that are just as "worthy" of the incentive to not just discard them... like bottled water bottles. Makes no sense. I don't care where I go. Tap water's fine for me.

Colette Amelia said...

It is comforting to see that the idiots are running the show everywhere and not just here!

I gotta say this was a hum ding dilly! Great stuff!

kj said...

let's face it baino--water is the most important commodity on the planet. my town's water flunks the state test everytime so i'm drinking filtered our bottled water every time.

my god, don't ask me to restrict water for my morning coffee. i just can't.

ps i'm glad to have such an intelligent and thoughtful friend such as yourself. really, i mean it.
xoxxoxo!

River said...

Years ago delaide tap water was pretty yucky, in colour as well as taste. If you put some in a glass straight from the tap and letit stand overnight there'd be sediment in the bottom of the glass in the morning.nowadays, it's much cleaner, to look at anyway, but I still can't drink it. Memories of stomach cramps put me off. I can boil it and make coffee and tea, but even boiled water, cooled, I can't drink. I buy spring water in a 10 litre cask and use that to fill my water bottle that I take to work. I wish the government would get off its collective a**e and build catchments (covered to prevent evaporation) in the northern flood areas and pipelines down to the rest of the country. Storm water drains in all cities could be piped to catchments as well. There really is no need for Australia to be as dry as it is. They bleat about the cost, but it would be cheaper in the long run than a desal plant which would incur massive costs to build, then ongoing costs to run.

Baino said...

Toots, the own a number of springs here where people are putting up with water restrictions and they're pillaging the water from the ground. It seems so unfair!

Ooh a Silver Fox, I'm after one of those! We used to have deposits on glass and I think SouthAustralia still do but no go on plastic landfill bottles! It's a travesty.

Collette, I could writ a book on all this stuff but had to keep it short.

kj get a filter installed under your kitchen sink. It filters out the greebies, you only need to change the core every five years and it tastes . . .just like . . .water! Thanks hun, you're pretty cool too!

River, I've heard people complain about the water quality in SA. Very minerally apparently. Again, a water filter will do it for you. Costs a bit up front but great in the short term. Sydney water's pretty soft so easy to drink from the tap.

Candie Bracci said...

Baino,Bainoooooooooooooo!!!

How are you my dear Baino?Where is our friday fuckwitt?

Sighs*

I know it's not easy these times for you but know that you're still the best!!!!

Little story:

Ah when I used to work as a waitress in a pub in London..
I went to the toilet,normal hey?To wee,yeah and I was wearing a body under,you know a sexy white body that only women know what it is for,or might not,and my uniform was total black.Wait,wait,till the end..I came back to serve,normal,my head in the clouds,singing,happiness..hihihi,only I haven't seen that I forgot to button up my body,so it was hanging outside,brightly white over my black trousers and 15 minutes at least to notice it.The worst part,a customer said it to a girl who was working with me..yeah I was pure red and all colours at once I think!I stayed in the back for a while,so ashamed!After the people working with me of course didn't leave me be,no,they add their touch again!For few days,they were wearing tissue out of their trousers laughing and saying:"who am I?"Yeah..see that's your friday fuckwitt and you know what it's a true story I swear.I hope it makes you smile if I expose myself like that!LOL

Sending you hugs!

Grow Up said...

Well in old England everyone drank beer all the time due to poor water quality. Sounds good to me.

padraig said...

Your two solutions dovetail.

You make things expensive, people stop complaining about NIMBY. If water's three times as expensive as it is now, people are less inclined to vote against having that water reclamation plant near their neighborhood.

Another idea is to stop sending monthly bills, and start sending *yearly* bills. Tripling $30 a month to $90 a month might do the trick but taking $30 a month bills out of your cycle and giving you a $1080 bill once a year will really make you aware of how much you pay for water...

TheChrisD said...

Maybe they wouldn't have so many issues if there weren't so many rules and thus so many people flouting them...

mouse (aka kimy) said...

fascinating post (albeit sad, scary and insane - with respect to the problem, not your writing).... thanks for the lesson. I agree with ronda it is a most excellent rant.

i mentioned the documentary 'flow' in a couple comments this week's tt about the international water crisis, check it out if you can - there's a website, just google flow documentary...

jay said...

It is crazy. We have a similar problem here, though on far lesser scale. It pours all winter and floods, then in summer they say there's not enough water to go round, For goodness' sake, we're an island which is GREEN! We have rivers! We have streams! We have lakes! We also, like you, have poor water management.

It is indeed utterly ludicrous to build water catchment areas where it doesn't rain. Make the NIMBYs go live there. Their gum trees might catch fire, but they probably won't fall over.

I'm sorry you're having a tough time. Have a hug. *Hug*

Ces said...

Oh indeed, that Vinegar Woman's cursin' sister is you!

RyanIAm said...

water restrictions? what are those? I have recycled water :>

Megan said...

I didn't comment? I thought for sure I was here before...

I need to go drink some water...

Baino said...

Candie Bracci you are a very funny woman! I can only think you mean a body suit? a "Teddy" otherwise youre also very talented being able to unzip your crotch. Thanks. Actually I was just too busy to research a funny fuckwit and the time slipped past. All the kids were home for tea, horses needed feeding and rugging and whaddayano . . Friday was gone.

Growup, or wine even . .

Padraig I would that my water bill was only $30 a month! And we're ultra conservative. They have raised the price of tap water but it doesn't stop the rich and stupid squandering it. The highest water usage in Sydney is in selubrious Mosman.

Jay as long as i can remember desalination of our rivers and catchment management has been on the Government Agenda and nothing seems to have progressed except this silly desalination plant. We need to educate people on careful usage not give them an excuse to maintain their current levels of waste.

Oh C'mon Ces . .I'm not THAT bad I fear I'm gaining a reputation as a potty mouth! She does look a bit like me tho!

Ryan, you have recycled garden water. Yu're lucky because only relatively new homes have it unless you're like us on Envirocycle or septics. But waste is not just on the garden! Think about the shower!

Megs, don't think you did. Drink water? Absurd!

Bimbimbie said...

Bugga*!* I've just poured myself a mug of boiled tap water from me rain water tank and happily sipping away wondering which green frog or lizard might have peed in it ;)

The big joke up here is that after all the millions spent on installing water tanks and people learning to use water sparingly our State Government indicated that now that the dam levels where almost 60% full restrictions would be lifted ... thankfully people said No that's not a bright idea.

Seriously this whole country is going bloody permit crazy ... come July our pussycats have to be permit carrying citizens ... even those that are housebound and don't go out clubbing*!*

Bimbimbie said...

Oh Baino I spy a Silver Fox ... did someone hear your plea *!*

Baino said...

*Tsup!* Bimbimbie, I remember drinking tank water with 'wriggler's in it on a dairy farm where I used to holiday. They put a stocking over the tap so that they didn't hit the glass . .I'm alive! Permits schmermits . .we had a major (and I mean chainsawing brushcuttering major) pruning day today. We have a small bonfire which meets fire regs and a mofo up in the back paddock ready for queens b'day but I have to get a Rural Fire Service Environmental Reduction Burn authority, then take that to the NSW Fire Service for a permit to burn! I think I'll just blow the lot up next weekend . .fancy coming down for marshmallows and mulled wine?

lettuce said...

great rant

and despite the UK being so diff. - similar types of fuckwittage in relation to the watery stuff


And, furthermore, we should all say "nigh to" much more often

Bimbimbie said...

Tsup*!* I've only once got our local fireies in with a permit to burn a large pile that was fairly close to the house ... hubby swears to this day that the look in one or two of the guys eyes would suggest arsonist in training ... even tried to get us to think about doing a complete burn of the block and ask the neighbours too. As you can imagine since that day I do smaller burn offs myself*!*