OPINION: Water down the political games
DROUGHT. It seems to be all anyone can talk about, and rightfully so. There is no escaping the stark, barren landscape and the constant sound of water trucks that goes hand in hand with drought and there seems to be no end in sight.
No matter how many times we are told it will rain again (and we know it eventually will), it's the when that is the problem.
All weather predictions seem to indicate substantial rainfall is some time away and probably won't save us from our Day Zero.
In the past two weeks my husband and I travelled just over 8000km; we visited three states and one territory, and while this country can be so different, I found so many of us have more in common than we probably would like; there are countless communities experiencing drought ravaged countryside, struggling to stay open for business but there are also innumerable, hope filled residents pulling out all stops to keep their heads above water.
There are no quick fixes but the time to start looking towards the future is NOW.
I am not a politician, I am not an environmental scientist, I am not a meteorologist and I am certainly not a dam builder, but I know we can't sit idly by. Whether it comes in the form of pipelines, dams, water conservation, desalination plants, hydro schemes, water education, management, tanks, grey water, incentives or a mix, something must be done and it needs to be done in a way that does not allow councils to place exorbitant costs on ratepayers.
We need to take the political games out of our exchange of ideas and put our communities futures into the solutions.
We need to sit together as rational communities who have all chosen to inhabit this dry country of ours and develop a co-ordinated plan to tackle the issues over-all. I know that given the current political hostilities that are being played out, this sounds like a pie in the sky dream, but we have to hang our hats on something.
There will not be one solution that will work on its own and no matter what actions we take there will be plenty who don't agree; such is the world we live in.
When this drought ends, and it will, all levels of government, and every single community member need to remember the hardship that was faced by all; remember what we lost; but more importantly remember there is no reason we should ever be in this position again. We will face another drought, but we should never again let hindsight be the only thing we have up our sleeves.