Sunday, 15 October 2006

Water of Love

Lately, water - or rather the lack of it - has become the talk of the town. The talk of the state. The talk of the continent.
Readers of this blog will know that I am a sort of an aspiring environmentalist. Yet I cannot help getting annoyed - quite annoyed - every time I am told that I need to cut down my water consumption.
Let me get one thing straight. I do think that we should all cut down our water consumption, even when there aren't any water shortages in the reservoirs. So allow me to explain why it is that I'm annoyed.

First, I am annoyed because Australia has been going through a 15 year long drought and the people who call the shots still didn't realize that it's not a drought by now - dry is normal, and anything more than that is abnormal. Welcomed, but abnormal.
What I'm annoyed with is the way the people who call the shots will not acknowledge that global warming is here and will not do a thing about it.
Second, I'm annoyed because I'm often being told off for taking long showers. I do take long showers - 20 minutes long, probably, on average. And I do not consider these showers to be among highlights of my good deeds; yet those 20 minutes are one of the things I look for in my day. The thing that annoys me is that most of the criticism I receive is through people who attest to shower for 6 minutes a day, but then when you ask them about it they will tell you that they water their huge private gardens on a daily basis. Yes, I take long showers; but according to our water bill, our overall water consumption is on the very low side of things for a family of two.
The third reason for me being annoyed is the biggest one of them all. I refer to it as mis-information; allow me to elaborate:
  • They tell us to cut down our private water consumption. Yet they don't tell us that most of the water being consumed is not used by private household; the bulk of the water goes for agriculture and industrial use. Has anyone seen any plea for those to cut down their water consumption? If anything, they might even receive subsidized water. So, if I and everyone else around cuts their showers by 50%, the effect it would have on the overall water consumption would be rather miniscule. As I said earlier, it would still have a positive effect; however, it would have a far less than detrimental effect.
  • They tell us to cut down our water consumption, yet they don't tell us anything on how the logging companies are ruining our water supplies at a rate we can never expect to match no matter how much water we save at home. Every forest that is cleared means that less water gets to the rivers that end up at our water supplies; every new forest that is planted in order for a logging company to have something to log consumes something like 6 times more water than what an old forest used to consume while the trees are growing. But they would never tell you that; there are enough people up there who make too much money for anything to be said that might offend their bank accounts.
  • They tell us to cut down our water and take longer showers. Yet they don't tell us where the vast majority of our water consumption really is; and no, it's not in our showers, nor is it in us watering our gardens. All these pale in comparison to the amount of water we consume without knowing. How many of us know that each kilogram of meat we eat takes about 2000 liters of water to generate? If you want to cut down on water consumption, simply eat more fruits and vegetables and reduce your meat consumption - fruits and vegetables consume between a tenth to a half of the amount of water required to produce meat. How many of us have been told that a t-shirt that we buy takes about 600 liters of water for the cotton to grow and for it to be processed? Want to cut down on your water consumption, then simply don't buy clothes you don't really need. But why should they tell you this when it could have an effect on the wallets of some of the people at the top of the food chain? Why should these people be bothered with finding sustainable ways to make money and create jobs when they have their milking cow - and who cares if this milking cow is drinking all of our water?
So you'll have to excuse me while I ignore those pleas to save water. Whenever I hear these pleas I know there is some two faced politician out there who needs some votes, but nothing more than that. If they really wanted to make a difference, they could have done something where it really counts.


Anonymous said...

I think you mean 'They tell us to cut down our water and take shorter showers' But other then that; no critique. I live in a country where 'It's always raining ' is a usual complaint and even we are told to cut down on water in the heat of summer (usually a day or two but this year actuaaly more then a week, joy).

oh and have I mentioned liking your blog and having linked to it a few weeks back? Do tell me if you mind.

Moshe Reuveni said...

Thanks; I'm quite proud, actually.
I've added a link to your blog as a token of my appreciation.
And with regards to water conservation: I agree we need to save even if there is no apparent need; the water should stay where it belongs, not where we want it in order to serve some foolish needs the world can do without. But that's just me...