Don’t Take Clean Water for Granted

I’ve been busy the last few months developing a webinar to get people thinking about water and how limited a resource it really is.

So many people are just accustomed to turning on a tap and having an abundance of clean, fresh water at their disposal.

What happens one day when we turn on the tap and nothing comes out? That was the reality of Countdown to Day Zero, the real story that Cape Town in South Africa recently avoided.

The Water Cycle

I learnt this concept in school – water evaporates from a source body such as the ocean, rivers or lakes. Then these water particles join together in the clouds and the atmosphere becoming condensation, which becomes too heavy to remain in suspension in the sky. The result of this is precipitation, where the heavy condensation falls to the ground.

Along the way, the rainfall picks up elements from the atmosphere, depending on where it falls. This is why some areas that are densely populated with heavy industry can find themselves creating acid rain. Most areas don’t have to concern themselves with acid rain and the most common element in rain is nitrogen, which helps plants to grow. This is why rain is better for your garden than tap water.

The water cycle has been around forever, as has rain. It’s natures way of survival and it has sustained life on this planet since inception. We’ve learnt to harness it over the years with things like cloud seeding and other advancements in technology gained from insights by clever people.

Even in a drying climate, we still get plenty of rainfall along our coastal strips. Where we’ve cleared the land of any remnant of vegetation, mother nature is slowly but surely moving us off the land to allow it to recover. Once the balance is restored, the rains will move further inland and the soil will become fertile again.

Our Arid Environment

Climate change is real, it’s not just hype. It is unfortunately, being hyped up for the wrong reasons – to scare our youth in to believing that we can fix it overnight by reducing our carbon emissions. That’s just a miniscule part of a much bigger picture. Our youth are being led down the garden path by the Pied Piper, I’m sad to say!

Mother Nature is a wonderful restorer of balance into the natural order of the environment. Our excessive clearing of land has seen salinity rise and pastoral country become less viable. Farmers who’ve spent a lifetime on the land, know the importance of tree belts on their properties. We started putting in tree belts on my fathers’ farm when I was a kid. They help keep the salt from rising to the surface, they encourage rain to fall, they provide shelter for livestock, they pull carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and the list goes on. Trees are just one of mother nature’s marvelous things to learn about.

Methane gas is considered a major greenhouse gas, although the amount of it in the atmosphere is quite insignificant. It does contribute to the warming of the atmosphere, so it does affect global warming to some degree. It’s not something though that is worthy of the attention the fear mongers put into it. So, scaring our youth and next generations into believing they can “fix” the earth, is just hype and is generally used to serve a purpose other than the greater good. Dare I bring politics into the mix.

It’s completely transparent that climate change is real – our drying land is an example of this. Sure, something must be done, and it will be done, but by working with nature, not against it. Sustainable living practices must become the norm. Turning off the air conditioners in our schools will help – we never had them when I went to school. If our youth got to learn by example that the things they take for granted are the things that are contributing to the detriment of the environment, that will do so much more for their future than protesting and doing YouTube videos ever will. We must teach them by example, not by fear mongering.

Our drying rivers and wetlands

We’re seeing raw footage of the Menindee Lakes and the issues that the authorities have brought to the area. We’re living in a global economy where the big end of town gets looked after to the detriment of everything and everyone around them. Cubbie Station is a foreign owned cotton grower, sold to Chinese textile giant Shandong Ruyi instead of being reclaimed by the government to secure the massive water rights that Cubbie Station has. The Murray-Darling Basin is in a rapidly declining state of affairs and irrigators of cotton are just one of the contributors.

If you’re interested in the health of the Murray-Darling Basin, look up Tolarno Station on Facebook. The guys there are at the front of the downstream problems, where massive fish kills are becoming the norm due to mismanagement of the water infrastructure. Parks and Wildlife officers are now undertaking a program to relocate some of the spawning fish stock from the drying rivers to save the great Murray Cod, as the survival of the species is becoming a very real threat.

In conclusion, water is such a precious resource it must be managed wisely and not for profit. We rely solely on water to survive and the planet is made up primarily of water, our bodies are made up primarily of water and plants are made up primarily of water. I assume you’re catching my drift here and realise the true value of clean water.

Hence, my mantra of ‘Don’t take clean water for granted’ is a very real and apt little saying!

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