WHERE IS THE WATER?
There is a myth that Australia is constantly short of water. Yet when you look around the nation it is obvious that some parts of our great nation have abundant water, while others have very little or none.
So, why are we faced with huge droughts sometimes, and at other times we are inundated with more water than we want?
The answer is just common sense: We are not managing our water resources properly.
Before I suggest some of my ideas to solve this problem I must point out that I am not a water scientist. Nor am I qualified in any branch of hydrology study.
Despite this, I am observant. I have lived overseas for many years where I have seen how various countries manage their water resources.
I have also traveled around most of Australia, from our major cities, to the most remote parts, including a few months in the middle of the Victoria Desert where I experienced the first rain to fall in that place in 32 years. As well, I have spoken to many farmers, the people most closely associated with the land. And I have learned that they have invaluable knowledge about managing the land and its resources that our leaders always seem to ignore.
The ideas I am going to propose may not be new. They are, after all, just common sense.
Each year, the North is inundated under huge deluges of monsoon rains. Dams fill and rivers overflow. And if there is enough rain it will flow down the inland rivers and eventually end up at Lake Eyre, as it recently did. However, the whole process is very hit and miss. Much of the water simply evaporates, or gets sucked back into the ground, or just runs out to sea.
We need to manage this huge water flow better.
I propose creating make work programs for the unemployed on the dole. This program will employ only Australians or bona fide immigrants on permanent residence visas.
They will be assigned to create a new network of canals, sluices, small dams, pipes and channels to direct this huge body of water to areas it is needed.
Why small dams?
Because we have seen that huge dams do not work. They inundate large tracts of land, often flooding viable farming land in the process. They displace native animal habitat. And they don’t help conserve or supply water efficiently. We have seen that mismanagement was responsible for flooding Brisbane when water was released at the wrong time.
Before we start any project we need an idea. That is what this document is all about.
Then we need to put together a plan to achieve the idea. To do that, we need to gather the best minds in the country to study the problems and work out ways to create the water management system. I don’t mean just scientists and hydrology experts either. There are people out there who have restored their water resources to health just by understanding the land and how nature works. We need these people involved too. I can think of two such people off the top of my head, so when we call for people to join the planning team we should include these people as well…farmers, thinkers outside the box, intelligent observers of nature.
Once we have a plan, we will need to marshal the resources needed to carry it out. This is the easiest part. We have too many unemployed. And I believe that our prison population should be employed on a project like this too. Working out in nature will keep them healthy and profitably employed. At the same time, productive labor that benefits our nation will teach them the value of work as opposed to crime and it will give them a sense of pride they can never achieve behind bars. In addition, they will gain self respect and loyalty for our nation.
Through public works projects like this, we can reduce our unemployment to zero.
The benefit to the nation will be incalculable. First, we will have a constant and guaranteed water supply. We will no longer have to fear drought. We will be able to open up land that has been unproductive or that has never been cultivated before and farm it effectively. That will mean more Australian grown food on our tables. We will entice people back onto the land to farm and be productive, as our forefathers once were.
But to ensure that this plan is viable we will also have to reform other sectors of our society. For example, we will need a government with strong leadership able to make tough decisions. We will need to implement tariffs on imported goods to create a business climate where it will be cheaper and more cost effective to buy and use Australian products.
We will need to reform our banking system. We were once the envy of the world because we had a People’s Bank, the original Common Wealth Bank, that was owned by the people. If you want to know more about this, read the history of the Commonwealth Bank.
With a people’s bank we will be able to finance development, rebuild our farming sector, encourage manufacturing, and all the other benefits that will flow from that.
As part of the bank reform we propose introducing a different tax system, either a debit tax, or a flat tax. This should be decided in a referendum. A debit tax could be collected by the banks each time there is a bank transaction.
A flat debit tax could be no more than 0.02% and levied on every transaction, no matter what it is. A tax like this would produce more than enough money for the government to run the country.
Every time it rains our town drainage systems funnel the runoff water and dump it in our rivers and creeks. This is a tremendous waste of water. Instead, I propose collecting this water for our use.
The first thing we would need is a plan to divert the water to a central collection point. Each suburb has a public park somewhere, so the easiest way to build storage tanks would be to place them under our public parks.
Then all we have to do is re-routs the runoff rainwater to these tanks.
At the same time we could build a small pump house and water purification plant above each storage tank and produce clean drinking water for the suburb. Any water not processed, or waste water that is collected, could be provided for other uses, such as gray water to be used on gardens and parks.
By implementing a plan like this we could drastically lower our water prices after the initial investment has been paid off. As well, we would never have to worry about droughts again.