More on water — a sign of things to come?

The Melbourne Age records the problems of the tiny town (pop. 145) of Orme in Tennessee. Orme has always relied on water from a mountain spring. Now that has dried up. Orme’s antiquated fire engine hauls in water to fill the town’s tank from a fire hydrant 5 km away. Each day, the town’s water supply is turned on at 6pm and turned off 3 hours later. For the first time in 100 years, much of the south-west of the US has reached the most severe category of drought. The US Govt Accountability Office has warned that at least 36 states would face catastrophic water shortages within five years due to a combination of drought, rising temperatures, urban sprawl and population growth. Who was it who said we live in interesting times?

I wonder how long it will be before water supplies in Melbourne are turned off for a period each day. With population growing and Melbourne’s water storages at present only 40% full, I can’t see the dams ever filling again. I think we will always have some form of water restrictions from now on, until the day when the water finally gets turned off forever. (Note to self: put in another tank).


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