Wednesday, June 27, 2007

More water

A while ago, I posted a brief comment on the developing water crisis in Australia. Although far from over, there have been some good falls over the last few weeks. While away on a farm on holidays recently, we heard they'd had their best rain since 2000. There is more heavy rain predicted for Victoria over the next few days. Despite the rain, the NSW government is going ahead with the controversial desalination plant amid debates about energy use. Prior to the election, the government said the plant was to be built if dam levels dropped below 30%. Sydney's dams have risen from 37% to over 50% since 7th June.

This is welcome relief, though it is important that further west farmers get seasonal rain for crop growth, not simply drought-breaking water that comes in a deluge. In a much-reported irony, the country NSW town of Goulburn, which has been on level 5 water restrictions (the most severe) for almost five years, is today facing the prospect of floods. Recent flooding of the Hunter river, north of Sydney, killed nine people. Around the world, flooding in northern England has killed three people, in India has killed almost 150 , and in Pakistan over 200.

Should we thank God for the gift of rain during a flood? (A question with (tangential) analogies to questions of overpopulation - a series I do intend to return to at some stage (once I know what I think!)) My hunch is 'yes', because it remains a good gift, necessary for life. However, in a flood this thanksgiving becomes more complex, since that which is good is now arranged in a destructive way. It is possible to have too much of a good thing. A significant aspect of the goodness of the created order is that it is ordered.These two images both illustrate recent rainfall in NSW. Ten points for the location of each.

10 comments:

Anthony said...

The top one looks to be taken from the lookout at the end of Govett's Leap Rd in Blackheath, though I can't recall the name of the falls.

We were there recently, but it wasn't much help to us - we couldn't go anywhere because of recent bushfires!

Anonymous said...

Yup, the top one is defiantly from the Blue Mountains. I reckon the second is the Jenaolan Caves.

- JRS

Moffitt the Prophet said...

Govett leap falls? Too slow...

linden said...

I think it's called Bridal Veil Falls...

I once walked down the dry creek bed to the edge and dangled my legs over the side.

Em almost killed me.

byron said...

Linden: ten points, though I'll also give five to anthony, four to moffitt, and two to JRS for the top picture. Another ten go to JRS for Jenolan caves.

Perhaps there could be some bonus points for guessing the correct cave...

One of Freedom said...

That cave sure is purdy.

I need to look at desalination plant technology at some point. My understanding that it is incredibly energy consumptive. Most of the ways we produce energy simply make the problems worse to begin with.

But what gets me is that somewhere we've convinced ourselves that techology has all the answers. That is the kind of self-delusional thinking that has gotten us into this current ecological crisis to begin with. Drives me nuts.

In that book I read on water there was a lot on irrigation processes. Perhaps the answer is to be found in how we treat water, not as a resource but as a privilege.

cyberpastor said...

It's kind of ironic to think that there may be a possibility that even though "the rain falls on the just and the unjust" that some of it carries out a general movement of judgment upon an ungrateful humanity?!?

byron said...

we couldn't go anywhere because of recent bushfires!
Yeah - could be years before they repair all the paths. There were some great walks in that area.

My understanding that it is incredibly energy consumptive.
That's what I've heard too. The state govt claims to offset this by using only green power, but this too seems contentious.
We do seem enamoured of our technological solutions: increase supply! Decreasing demand (though efficiency and lifestyle change) is so much less sexy.

peter j said...

Is the name of the cave 'the river cave'?

byron said...

Indeed it is - what creative names they have for these things. Five points.