It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


"It's liquid gold, it's a matter of life and death" - Australia's Water Crisis

page: 1
<<   2 >>

log in


posted on Jan, 29 2007 @ 12:54 AM

Last week Prime Minister John Howard declared water security to be the biggest challenge currently facing Australia, and he announced a A$10bn ($7bn) package to tackle the problem.

Mr Beattie said that falling water levels had left his state administration with no option but to introduce recycled water in south-eastern Queensland, starting from next year.

"We're not getting rain; we've got no choice," he told ABC radio.

Now, the idea of drinking former sewage is disgusting, but it's really quite sensible.

Another step that must be taken is desalination. Agricultural water use is an enormous drain on fresh water supplies, and there's no excuse not to invest in desalination to insure a steady supply of water year after year.

Desalination costs money, but it's cheaper than dying.

More importantly, there are a number of ways to reduce operating costs, to which energy use is the primary contributor. Whether using more efficient pumps, energy recovery technology, solar power, wind power, or even the good old fashioned electric turbine being driven by the water itself, there are ways to make these plants self-sufficient, and I suspect that done right, they could even deliver some spare power to the grid.

So, if the energy costs associated with desalination are brought under control, the infrastructure would be the biggest expenditure, a lump sum at the outset. This puts people off, but we have to get past our nearsightedness and think of the future. I say 'we' because it's not just Australia confronting this problem, it's most of the world! If it will cost more in the long run to cobble together a series of stop-gap measures and suffer for years to come the financial hardships that result from our reticence, it's eminently more sensible and profitable to bite the bullet and invest in the necessary infrastructure.

I used the quote from the article in the title, because I think it's a glimpse of the future.

Oil Wars? We don't need no stinkin' Oil Wars. Water Wars are where it's at!

Pardon my levity, but it's necessary to stave off depression in circumstances like these.

posted on Jan, 29 2007 @ 02:47 AM
I live in QLD & yet i am undecided on the recycled water yet i think it is In evadable & it will happen sooner then later with water levels dropping. I think if people didnt realise it was recycled water they would not know the difference on what they were drinking.

posted on Jan, 29 2007 @ 03:07 AM

Originally posted by Sth Hemisphere
I live in QLD & yet i am undecided on the recycled water yet i think it is In evadable & it will happen sooner then later with water levels dropping. I think if people didnt realise it was recycled water they would not know the difference on what they were drinking.

Exactly, if it's recycled and filtered properly who is going to know the difference.
They way it's going down here I don't really think people can afford to be all that choosy personally.
I think a lot of the touble is that a good percentage of the population thinks that water comes from an Evian Bottle from the supermarket.

We've just started Stage 3 water restrictions here today in Melbourne BTW.

I used to read about future wars over water and laugh about them.
Not so funny any more I guess.

posted on Jan, 29 2007 @ 03:33 AM
Good topic WyrdeOne.

Perth here

What really annoys a lot of us over here is the Gov has know about our worsening water situation for about 7 years.

They have recently constructed a desalination plant in Cockburn sound(pronouced "co-burn"

Taken from the link (which has some pics)

Pressure on Perth's water supply has been eased with the official opening of a $387 million desalination plant at the weekend.

Western Australian Premier Alan Carpenter has announced Australia's first large-scale seawater desalination plant is operational - delivering water into the public supply system.

Some 17 per cent of Perth's drinking water will now be sourced from the Indian Ocean.

We have been on water restrictions during summer for approx the last 7 years.

Desalination comes at more than a monetary cost.

But we are being left with little other options.

A professor of environmental engineering claims the residue being pumped out of the proposed desalination plant will result in a massive 40 per cent of Cockburn Sound being covered in salt and eventually dying.

Environmental cost

[edit on 29-1-2007 by gps777]

posted on Jan, 29 2007 @ 03:40 AM
I think Australia is in the perfect place for desalination. It's an island, completely surrounded by water, and the vast majority of the population lives on the coast, or near to it. It's a perfect test-bed for large-scale desalination technology.

I think it could really benefit from an aggressive pursuit of this technology, with an eye toward energy-saving measures.

Certainly, something has to be done. Society can't exist without water.

I've got family in Australia, in Perth and Adelaide among other places, and the thought of them having to fend off the water police makes me very sad. There's water as far as the eye can see, all around, y'all just need infrastructure in place to convert it into a more usable form.

Short of that, there are a number of grasses and plants that can be 'fed' with salt water. I can't recall the name of the grass, but there's (at least) one variety of grass/sod that can be watered with salt water, coastal golf courses use it because it can survive the salt breeze/salt spray without any ill effects. You could landscape the entire coast with salt bushes and date palms.

I dunno..the whole premise seems too amazing and impossible - running out of water. It comes from the tap, we don't even think about it...

Well, we had better start thinking about it, or keeping the grass on our golf courses green is going to be the very least of our worries.

One other remote possibility that I had considered was large-scale fuel cells, useful as much for the water they discharge as for the power they generate. I don't know enough about the feasibility of this solution (or the desalination angle) to make a firm statement one way or another, but I definitely think it ought to be discussed.

Thanks for your replies, BTW.

posted on Jan, 29 2007 @ 03:56 AM
I agree, desal costs much but surely after we've built a few we will find ways to lower the costs.
Power it through solar energy for starters...

I havent headed up to cockburn yet to physically look at the structure yet
something about ocean/land buildings that fascinate me, especially when you imagine the hardware inside working away on land, but using the ocean.

$10B in my mind isnt enough.
I remember seeing some news reports that somesmall towns in the centre dont even have enough money to flush toilets.

The Water issue has been used as a political tool for far too long.
Its about time we stopped and realised this could ruin australia without immediate action.

I mean our damns have been running low for years now...

as for recycled water...
It might be safe, and completely filtered, buts theres a stigmata attached to drinking sewage.
Im sure if we had no other choice, people would do drink it.
But in the end we cant gaurantee the safety of it, we cant gaurantee some superbug wont adapt to survive the filter process and end up making us sick.

posted on Jan, 29 2007 @ 04:09 AM

Originally posted by WyrdeOne
I think Australia is in the perfect place for desalination. It's an island, completely surrounded by water, and the vast majority of the population lives on the coast, or near to it. It's a perfect test-bed for large-scale desalination technology.

Totally agree WyrdeOne

What i dont understand is why if they spend $387,000,000 and its going to cost 40% of Cockburn sound because of the salt pumped back into the sound,then why just not spend more on pipeing and pump it 10 km or so out to sea?

Short of that, there are a number of grasses and plants that can be 'fed' with salt water.I can't recall the name of the grass

Its a grass or lawn called Saltine a lot of people use it along the imediate coast because its salt hardy from the spray of the ocean.

Though i dont know about watering it with straight salt water for the lawns sake and enviroment ?.

posted on Jan, 29 2007 @ 04:19 AM
reminds me of the the scene from water world were he pisses in the thing

what about today tonight showing how much our pipes leek water in sydney that was crazy

posted on Jan, 29 2007 @ 05:02 AM
We are on Stage 4 water restrictions where I live, which means that pretty much all you can do is drink the stuff, or perhaps flush the toilet and have .002 second showers.

Well, kinda near where I live. We're on tank water here, so where on stage 14 restrictions pretty much all year round. But when I'm using mains water, I just ignore the restrictions. I mean, after a surf, down in southern Victorian waters, you can get kinda cold, and it's not uncommon for me to spent 30-50 minutes just standing in a shower (yeah, thats right, I don't believe in booties and hoods
). A good trick is when using those showers with the push buttons, simply lean the nose of your surfboard against the button. Means you don't have to get out and press it again.

I give my thanks to all those families who actually pay attention to the restrictions, therefore making up for my particularly lax efforts!

Also, I would drink treated water with no problems at all. I've toured a sewage plant, and they showed us the water that is ejected back into the ocean in an offshore plant. It is near pure, cleaner than what comes out of the taps. I would be happy to drink the stuff. No probs at all.

posted on Jan, 29 2007 @ 05:18 AM
Sorry but i`m going to go a little off topic.

Well sort of?

Last night in Perth we had a summer thunder storm,after a blistering 3 days over 40 degree`s making it the hottest January in 7 years.

If anyone in Australia or anyone else was watching the cricket played here in Perth Aus vs New Zealand you would have seen the storm on the footage shown.It was quite spectacular.

Well the reason for this post is to say,i was sitting down in the back lounge feet up enjoying a very entertaining close game (good for you NZ,though they lost) whilst watching distant flash's of lightning with rolls of thunder through the back double glass doors.

When WHACK!!!!!!!!!!!! with a blinding FLASH,lightning struck right in front of me (well about twenty feet) it was like War of the Worlds,I nearly did a mischief.

If weren`t for my excellent condition nip of nerve which kicked in as fast as the lightning,making my orifice tighter than a fish's waste outlet it may have been embarrassing.

Flames and sparks blew out from the tree it hit in our back yard,which thankfully was put out quickly by the rain that was coming down at the time,because i wasn`t going out there for anything after that,until it had totally passed.

WOW it was powerful !!!.

[edit on 29-1-2007 by gps777]

posted on Jan, 29 2007 @ 05:53 AM

Originally posted by gps777
enjoying a very entertaining close game (good for you NZ,though they lost)

8 runs i might add, we are the only team to get that close I believe!

I watched the perth fireworks from my roof in the city, and it was unreal to look north and see this awesome lightning display roll in, while the fireworks were happening.

Same yesterday, many brush fires started i think, and still are burning.Amazing how we can have a 40+ heatwave for 3 days, yet still have rain and thunderstorms during them.

posted on Jan, 29 2007 @ 08:02 AM

Liquid gold alright.

Just like oil.

Strange that: the same groups who make their fortunes from oil are planning now to make several more fortunes selling peoples' urine and other bodily waste to other people.

And I guess they're going to enjoy the added orgasmic rush from watching the Sheepies drink p*ss. Because the Sheepies are fair game. Crimes against the Sheepies are not crimes at all. Their holy book tells them so.

Hilarious. The same groups are going to make even MORE fortunes out of building desalination plants, recyling plants and of course --- out of the ubiquitous 'bottled water'. The 'spring' water they pay $1.50 per Olympic size swimming pool full is popped into a carcinogenic plastic bottle and that small bottle sells for .... $1.50.

It cost a bit to pay tennis stars to slurp bottled water, to get the trend rolling. Now the Sheepies feel NAKED without their oh so trendy bottle of water in the bus, on the street, in the office, at the barbie. They never drank water from the tap --- but when BOTTLED (identical) water became 'trendy', they all wanted to appear so health conscious and kewl, lol.

I'm waiting for the day sports-stars begin eating sh*t on a stick during commerical breaks, to see if the trendos suddenly find THAT yummy, kewl and indespensible also. Gee. Shouldn't joke. Could easily happen the way it's going.

Of course, while people in forums are sounding right now as if they're salivating at the thought of drinking recycled urine and feces, they're forgetting I suppose the Aussie government's water legislation of 1995 which makes it an offence to draw water from springs, rivers, dams, etc. -- even if that water's on your own property. Catching rain water in tanks is an offence also, under that same legislation.

Unbelievable ? No. You just need to think a few steps ahead of the whore media's spin and it all falls into place.

First they orchestrate ' drought', via Chemtrails, media spin and pay by the word 'scientists'.

As the zionists know, when you repeat something often enough, no matter how ridiculous, it will eventually be accepted as fact.

So now we have: 'global warming', 'drought', environmental catastrophe, drought, global warming, etc. etc. People absorb it, accept it and then believe the crap that follows -- even when rain clouds are hanging low over their heads.

Once the zionists (and politicians and their cronies) establish it as the norm to drink recycled bodily wastes, they will ruthlessly protect their lucrative 'product'. You know the zionists. They're insane and insanely greedy.

Of course there will be the predictable health emergencies arising from the consumption of improperly (but possibly deliberate) inefficient processing of those bodily wastes, particularly those which were expelled by those with serious disease.

At that point, the Sheepies might have a momentary return to sanity and may ask themselves: ' Why the hell did we start drinking this garbage?'.

And then the Sheepies (if they have any brain cells remaining) might decide to drink actual real water, the stuff that falls from the sky, from springs on farms they've run to, in order to get away from Life Gone Nuts in the cities.

More and more Sheepies might decide THEY want to drink real water again; the stuff that hasn't passed through Nev the Drunk with Aids first.

At which point, the zionists will uncloak their 1995 water legislation -- that which makes it a criminal (punishable) offence to drink natural water.

To head off any potential Sheepie riots, they will deem genuine-water drinkers to be terrorists perhaps. More probably, they'll get some consciousless 'scientist' to 'demonstrate' that genuine water is a potential lethal substance. A few dozen genuine-water drinkers will die horribly, to convince the rest of the Sheepies to continue drinking and paying for, their neigbours' bodily wastes.

From the zionists' point of view, forcing Sheepies to drink their own bodily wastes will be just another proof of the zionists mental superiority.

And it will reap them further unimaginable fortunes. Which they NEED, you know, because of all those ugly, talentless kids they keep having -- the ones who have to have three nose-reduction and silicone implant surgeries before they feel ready to become 'overnight superstars' in Z-grade movies produced by Uncle Hermie, prior to entering rehab for their pathetic drug and alcohol problems, exacerbated by the fact they were born into literally bags of money, sleeze, crime and perversion.

And the Sheepies? Well, * IF * they can find a job that won't disappear next month due to outsourcing, and IF they don't fall down dead from the plethora of lab-created epidemics ----- then they'll hang onto a miserable existence of working for next to nothing in order to pay ever increasing oil and water costs, just so they can exist for another day.

It would never OCCUR to the Sheepies to play the zionist game, of course. It would never occur to them to CHARGE the zionists for all that urine and excreta the Sheepies extravagantly toss into the cesspools FOR FREE !


WHO do you imagine will be required to PAY for all these needless desalination and recycling plants ? Yes. The Dummies will pay. And the zionist-controlled politicians will all get their little rake-off. Although the BIG share will, as always, go into zionist pockets. Just as the cost of water will increase in cost, just like oil.

Apparently (although the whore media breathes not a word) the privatisation of Sydney's water was sold to EU-zionist corporations back in the 90's. And they're sick of waiting for those profits to roll in.

Drought? Drinking bodily wastes?

WHY? When ALL that is needed to reverse the orchestrated 'drought' is for the Aussie government to STOP the zionists from spraying Chemtrails !

Sorry. No such thing as an Aussie government. Just zionist puppets taking up space in Parliament.

As for all those 'leaks' in Sydney's water pipes --- INTENTIONAL. Deliberate. To hurry up the 'dam is dry' headlines and create mad panic amongst the Sheepies, the better to get them gulping down (and paying for) the contents of each others' toilets.

posted on Jan, 29 2007 @ 08:37 AM
I'm fine with desalination.. I'm even fine with filtered sewage.. in theory. I'm just a little concerned that there will be an inevitable 'oops' day where thousands of people are hospitalised because there weren't enough checks in place. Health officials can't keep legionairs under control so I doubt they'll be any more competent when it comes to this. I'm also certain they'll pump even more chlorine and other toxins to cut costs; water is big business now and the bastards are already talking about taxing rain water tanks because that water will be out of the water table and companies would have more of a right to it [or something to that effect]. I guess I'll have to hold my breathe for the an 'air' tax.

All Households should just rig their drains to go onto the garden [we've done it already] and industry and farmers should get the filtered effluent instead [well some industries should get unfiltered on princible]. A guy proposed a pipeline to NT [?] a couple of years ago but was publically crucified by the pollies for being deluded. Talk about a back flipping.

posted on Jan, 29 2007 @ 09:55 AM
I agree Riley,
#1, common sense is the best approach to water conservation
#2, it's easy to take simple measure to improve personal efficiency.
#3, desillation is a good thing and can potentially produce power from both types of human waste.
#4, trusting someone to ALWAYS turn human waste to drinking water will eventually be disappointed.

I think it is great that Australia is working at solving its water crisis head on. I hope they make the most of this opportunity and consider building a human waste power plant with it at the same time. Even if this tech isn't extremely efficient now, there is always time to improve it later and this will always be an abundant resource, even in space, so why not invest in it now?

[edit on 29-1-2007 by Low Orbit]

posted on Jan, 29 2007 @ 10:09 AM
What about building more canals into the tropical zones or relocating farmers?


* The federal government is to take control of water in the nation's biggest river system, the drought-ravaged Murray-Darling basin, asking state governments to cede management.

* Cap bores in the underground Great Artesian Basin, the world's largest, holding 65 million megalitres and covering an area bigger than France, Spain and Germany.

* Line and pipe major irrigation channels at a cost of $6 billion ($4.6 billion) to target leaks and evaporation, saving 3,000 gigalitres, or 20 percent of the total used.

* Audit the nation's water resources through a new taskforce to look at shifting agriculture north to the rain-soaked tropics.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

They use recycled waste water for crop irrigation in the southwest US, but not for drinking purposes. Will be interesting how it works out because it may have to be used in the US.

Hope Downunder gets some rain soon and the good news is that El Nino should fade out by summer, and with it the rains and snows should return to Australia.


The consensus from the models is that the Pacific Ocean's anomalous warmth has peaked and a modest but steady cooling trend may be expected in the first half of 2007. This pattern is fairly typical of the demise of past El Niño events. Furthermore, it is during summer and early autumn that Australian rainfall patterns usually revert to something near-to or above average after such an event.

[edit on 29-1-2007 by Regenmacher]

posted on Jan, 29 2007 @ 10:31 AM
I have made it one of my goals in life to find a process to purify water into drinking water. Truly, I hope I can create a business that will help the world. Right now, there is no form of technology that can mass filter large quantities of water. This scare is occurring in places in the US as well. Currently, the water that we waste through our sewage system is recycled and reused for farm crops.

posted on Jan, 29 2007 @ 11:22 AM

Originally posted by WyrdeOne

Desalination costs money, but it's cheaper than dying.

On the contrary, my friend. Dying is cheaper; no more taxes, utility bills, worries... not to mention - no need for water!

Just kidding. On the serious note - I think that is a problem that will plague entire planet, sooner or later. Water could become more expensive then the oil in the future. I sincerely hope you Aussies will find some sensible solution. Maybe some less expensive method of desalinization? Something like:

posted on Jan, 29 2007 @ 11:38 AM
Just what is the big deal here? The article states it is a comon practice in the UK, Singapore. All the cities on the great lakes who have been doing this for years with virtually no problems at all.

posted on Jan, 29 2007 @ 11:44 AM
Shots, you've missed my point. I was thinking about further progress in decreasing the cost of desalinization. The article shows progress from first methods of desalinization to one mentioned in the article. This progress should continue.

[edit on 29-1-2007 by Duby78]

posted on Jan, 29 2007 @ 12:04 PM
Did anyone ever see the cult classic "Ice Pirates", the main character was the guy who died recently from "spencer for hire", I saw it when i was a little kid. I was kind of like old Battlestar Glactica. The think is that the only item of worth in the future was ice, aka water. Space pirates like the old days in the Carribean except instead of gold they fought over ice.

The sad thing is that with population on at new peaks every day, eventually we are going to run out of water. Its kind of scary. But the thing is that we are going to have to recycling stuff mother nature used to on her own. Now a days with the stuff we add to the water, she can't recycle it on her own.

[edit on 29-1-2007 by Royal76]

new topics

top topics

<<   2 >>

log in