RAIN_PRINCESS_by_LeonidafremovI feel kind of nerdy. But I’m doing this assignment on water at the moment (for a class on Systems and Services Design). And I have realised that we as a lovely population of well endowed off Westerners are VERY VERY ignorant about the issues associated with water and the world and the ties to poverty etc. My assignment is more specifically about domestic water situations and urban metabolism but really it all applies. It should be of concern.

Please begin to educate yourself:

FAO Water

UN Water

beautiful rain painting by Leonid Afremov


  1. Hey Bec,

    Great post – it’s funny how similar thoughts tend to echo through time/space. I’ve been doing some thinking on this recently. Thought I’d share a few of the links.

    1) http://learnaboutpoverty.org/2008/12/14/basic-information-on-water-and-sanitation-issues/ (yes, I wrote this – sorry to be that guy, but I’m pleased with how it lays out the key issues so will post it here).

    2) http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2003/03/05/1046826430073.html (this is 5 years ago now, interesting to consider how far we have progressed *or not* in our application to this issue since then).

    3)http://www.melbournewater.com.au/content/water_storages/water_report/water_report.asp – The Thomson dam is at 19%…which provides a huge % of Melbourne’s water. And it’s not like a bath tub, where the drain is at the bottom. The pipe is in the air, which means functionally, we’re a lot closer to ’empty’ than we imagine. ‘Empty’ is not at 0%…

    4) http://www.theage.com.au/environment/more-thomson-river-flow-to-go-to-dry-city-20090823-ev3e.html (This is not a good sign. Essentially, the Thomson dam is at about 19% capacity ATM and to compensate, Holding had a report commissioned to decide whether to take environmental flows from the Yarra or from the Thomson river. Looks like the Thomson was chosen. The important thing to be aware of here, is that we’re already looking for emergency water supplies because…

    5) At current projections the Desalination plant won’t be completed by the time the Thomson reaches *empty. We have less 200 days worth of water left in the Thomson dam IF we didn’t receive a drop of rain in that time and IF you consider that I don’t know how far up the pipe (*empty) ends. The desalination plant will be completed by the end of 2011…in about 700 days time.

    I’ve taken a bit more of a Melbourne look at our water problems, but consider all of the things that could go wrong in our town when we run out of water. You won’t be able to flush your toilet. Sewerage won’t flow. Industry will come grinding to a halt. Food will not be able to be sanitised and ‘washed’ as we like to have it done now. New born children will not be able to be bathed etc etc.

    It brings all the problems people currently face in the ‘developing’ world everyday home to roost in Melbourne. And I think that is the best way to help people really understand just what those people who live in those developing countries face every day is to consider what it would be like to live in our own city in those same circumstances.

    October 6, 2009

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