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Steven Wood

Drinking pee, dams & Australia



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22 May 2009

Well it looks like Australia has once again started its mass migration scheme, soon there will be another 100,000 or so Brits flying over to start a new life, and a good life it is. As-well as the cheap housing, good weather, better working conditions and the abundance of things for kids to do, there is also so much potential for the country. As yet, un-realized by its people and leaders.

Australia has one massive problem that will not go away and may one day be its downfall if people aren’t careful. That is, water.
What some people don’t realize is that Australia is dangerously teetering on the edge of an ecological disaster that would make cane toads, rabbits and European carp combined look trivial. The Murray-Darling System is at breaking point and that feeds three states with water. Just ask any Sth Australian what their tap water is like. If you run a bath it is the color of rust and un-filtered hot water systems don’t last long neither. Sth Australia is the only place in the developed world where ships refuse to take on water. They wait until they get to Africa or the America’s.

The problem is, although Australia has a tiny population on a huge continent (there are more people in the M25 of London and it’s as big as the mainland of the USA) it has minimal rainfall in the south . Which is a problem, but it can be solved.
We have all heard the debate about re-cycling water and the people who have no idea saying “I for one will not drink someone-else’s pee” Which is a load of tripe. There is no such thing as un-used water on the planet. Even the bluest ice-burg from Antarctica, frozen for 30,000 years has been through countless T-Rexes bottoms and probably been peed out by several of our Neanderthal cousins. Water is constantly re-cycled, it’s a part of the cycle of life. The cleanest water on the planet is distilled water, which is an industrial process. Making pure, H²O.

As so many Australian who have traveled have seen, there is nothing wrong with re-cycled water, I would gladly drink some London water right now if I was there. Now that they have sorted it all out . Or there is another way?

We could tap the Great Artesian Basin, which I for one think would be foolish and short sighted for we don’t know how long it would take to re-fill once emptied and a few ecological reasons. I think it should be left alone, for emergencies maybe. Or there is an even better way, a more constructive way.

We have all seen on Telly, Las-Vegas in the States. It is fed water from the giant Hoover dam. We have done the same thing in Australia, Lake Argyle.

Lake Argyle is a man made lake designed to open Australia’s top end but, as usual
in Australia, it never happened. We built the dam, got the lake and then decided to go home, how bloody Australian!

You see in the North we have monsoonal rains that you can set your watch by that could fill thousands of similar, even bigger projects. Then we could pipe it anywhere we need it. Make Alice Springs into the city of Alice Springs and leave the springs alone for nature to take her drink. That is one of things Australia really needs, more water, and we can do it. But will we?

We will probably do the usual Australian thing and wait till the last minute and do far to little, far to late. I for one would love to be able to drive across the top end and see thriving communities with trees, parkland, swimming lakes and industry (which would pay for everything in the long run) instead of little starving dust bowls of settlements that cant support themselves let alone expand. The problem with Australia is the same as the problem with the rest of the world. Poor leadership, with little vision.

Australia could be an even more amazing and prosperous country with a little bit of vision. I can see an Australia that is much more abundant and beautiful that could comfortably hold 10 times its current population and wealth.

Let’s see which comes first, the death of the Murray or the start of the dams.


  • Water is constantly recycled, but i don't think many people are fully comfortable with the idea of consiously drinking someone's pee.
    Though if we aren't careful...that be a last resort. The process of purifying water is tedious, so new technology or systems would have to be thought of to make this more probable.

    Texas is having similar water problems, though there is somewhat of vision.
    i agree that australia could be a thriving country and grow exponentially, but they need the oppurtunity to

    Written by Erika Aranda on 04 Jun 2009, at 00:09 Report this comment

  • The trouble with Australia is that it is so rich in minerals that it will make a good living even if the Prime Minister was a monkey. Unfortunately that is what they usually get......... The water problem is not a problem in most Australians eyes. They till hose their front drives rather than sweep on the days they are allowed to use water for the garden. Conservation is not top of the agenda even with everyone having a meter. The first problem is to change the mind set of the populace THEN to get the government to stop wasting money on pointless Aboriginal rapetriation and spend some money on a national water distribution network. Kevin Rudd inherited a $95billion dollar surplus from John Howard. It is gone. What did he do with it??????

    Written by Dave Gunstone on 17 Aug 2009, at 15:36 Report this comment

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