Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Water Restrictions

You know how people often describe a place as "sunny" when they want it to sound good as in "Here we are in sunny downtown Detroit"? Sunny starts to look less positive when you're in your fourth consecutive year of below average rainfall (AKA drought). All over Australia, water restrictions are in place because of widespread drought conditions. In Melbourne, we have just had "Stage 2" restrictions imposed, the biggest impact of which is you aren't allowed to water laws AT ALL.

Lucky they didn't try to introduce this during football season. I'm sure there are some exceptions for professional venues but in general, no watering of public places which means all the parks are going to dry up. I know many country areas which have way worse water worries (how's that for some impromptu alliteration?) than Melbourne have been unable to water sporting fields for years. This leads to surfaces quickly turning to dirt and rock which is an... interesting surface to get tackled onto if you're playing one of the football codes. At least the ground will get some much needed moisture when the players all start bleeding profusely. Actually, sport in many areas has had to be cancelled for this very reason - the players were risking serious injury because of the playing surface.

I'm not going to turn this into a global warming rant, there are plenty of people more qualified than me (and many who are considerably less qualified) willing to expound at great length on the future we are facing. The current Australian government is doing George Bush proud with a complete head in the sand approach, refusing to sign the Kyoto protocol and regularly seeking to cast doubt on the science behind global warming theories.

I got a bit of a laugh this morning when a quite conservative morning TV show ripped on a government minister for doubting the reality of climate change. They cited some figures from Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth" to quite aggressively shoot the minister down. Life's getting funny when conservative talking heads are starting to sound like rabid tree-hugging hippies.

So now we're on Stage Two restrictions and all those little old European ladies will have to stop watering their concrete driveways. The smart betting is on restrictions being stepped up to Stage Three before Christmas unless there is considerable and consistent rainfall before them. At that point you have to start drinking your own urine. Still, at least it isn't as bad as Stage Four.

That's when you have to start drinking other people's urine.

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