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Gin Gin - where I live on an Eco Village fifty kilometres inland - has little more than half the rainfall of Bundaberg. It is on the cusp of dryness largely missing the Southerly winter rains further South and the summer tropical storms from the North. It is a seriously dry place and currently as much affected by the drought as anywhere. Yet while we read about the water crisis and the ever escalating water restrictions we do not have a water crisis.
The so called water crisis is man made, simple calculations multiplying the rainfall by the area show that in reality there is plenty of water, the water crisis elsewhere is caused by the failure to capture the rain that falls and make effective use of the water that is caught.
The community here has learned to make full use of the available rainfall. We take long showers, we fill our baths to the brim with water - and we rinse our dishes before putting in the dish washer, which we may run half full - we use hoses to water our gardens. We harvest healthy food crops and continue to expand our gardens.
It is not that we have some magic source of water; we do not even have a river or creek running through our community. Neither do we have a water authority supplying us with water or attending to our waste water requirements - we totally manage our water needs ourselves using simple, low cost but effective technology.
The water crisis would evaporate away if other communities followed our lead in adopting these local micro technologies, but they are simply unaware of these them. Unfortunately we cannot match the publicity machines of the traditional institutions controlling water that focus on promoting their mega projects.
While there is no financial benefit for us in promoting these micro technologies we feel that fellow Australians suffering the impact of the water crisis should have the information available to them and have the choice of how their water is managed. We can make the information available free of charge on the web.
To help explain the concepts we have adopted an unashamedly populist approach using a story to explain our mission.
The two serious themes behind the fantasy story are: analysing the statistical probability of rain, and the inherent weakness of the organisational structure. But these concepts of mathematical probabilities and system failure are complex issues having little appeal to the public - yet are at the heart of the water crisis.
Our story - modelled on the popular Dr Who series - uses the modern idiom of fantasy and graphics effects - infotainment - to explain serious ideas in an entertaining way.
The story is text based but animations will be incorporated via hyperlinks as they are prepared.
This story - ‘The Doctor and the Water Crisis’ may appear fanciful, but is really a cover for a probe into the root causes of the water crisis.
It starts with Peter Beattie, the ever smart politician, sending out a message for help to solve the water crisis, ‘a matter of life and death’. The message is picked up by the Doctor, who uncovers the root causes of the water crisis.
He realises that there is really plenty of water, many times more than needed, but the centralised system only collects a fraction of the rain that falls. He goes back in time to show how, coincidentally an almost identical problem, was solved on his home planet of Alpha Centuria many centuries ago.
They developed the technologies of harvesting more of the rain, but this required a fundamental change in the way the water bureaucracy operated. Fortunately by that time they had developed the Psychomat - which made the truth available to everyone - so that spin doctors could no longer mask the truth. Public pressure led to the fundamental paradigm shift.
But the public likes a happy ending, so the Doctor takes Lillie back to earth - sometime in the future - to show how the earthlings now have a secure decentralised water system, despite the climate change.
Last update 22 Aug 06
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