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The Drought January 20, 2007

Posted by Amanda in Uncategorized.

Those of us who live in the city may talk about what we are doing to save water, and how the water restrictions are affecting us but I have just driven to Canberra from Brisbane with my parents and I don’t think that we urban dwellers have much of an idea how bad it really is. Our high falutin talk about water tanks and washing the car with a bucket is so petty when you see the situation that the land is in.

We drove for twelve hours today and I don’t think I have ever seen the country drier. There are isolated spots where there must have been some rain but generally the country is brown all over. The sheep are indistinguishable from the land because it is all dust. There are areas where there doesn’t seem to be a blade of grass. It must be just heartbreaking for the people whose lives are tied to the land and the weather.

One can’t help but wonder what is going to happen to these towns and farms if the current patterns of frequent droughts continue. It seems inconceivable that anyone can keep on doing this for long but I suppose there are people who have been living through it for 50 years or more.

I feel quite hopeless about it all.



1. Grant - January 22, 2007

The scary thing is that scientists are saying this will continue – especially if we don’t curb our greenhouse gas emissions.

But another factoid is that agriculture accounts for approx. 70% of all water use – and it is our over-use of water that is causing a lot of these issues, both for city-dwellers and agriculture. So as much as us “high falutin” city-dwellers can do, the biggest shift in thinking I think needs to come from agriculturalists.

Water isn’t going to magically appear – we past that point a long time ago. We all need to think and try new ways to reduce our water consumption, and we need to re-think the kind of agriculture we practice here in Oz (which is often ill-suited to the dry conditions that are becoming more prevalent).

However, in the papers today I see the state and federal governments bickering again about water – and ignoring one of the key tools that will help, the National Water Initiative. Perhaps our politicians would do well to follow you guys back up to Sydney and get some perspective…

2. Amanda - January 22, 2007

yeah I was thinking about that after I wrote this post. One thing I did see were some signs for cotton farms which seem ridiculous when it is so dry.

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