Thursday, October 14, 2010

Water, Anger, Outcry, Food

In our world today one billion people do not have access to clean, safe drinking water and are subject to preventable disease and even death.

Access to clean water is not just a human rights issue, it’s an environmental issue and a sustainability issue that affects us all.

In Australia a land of drought and flood water is something of strong concern and particularly at present.

Debate is currently hot over the water allocation rights to be granted in the Murray Darling Water Plan.

The Murray Darling River System is seen as Australia's food bowl, but overuse of water in this system has resulted in a dying river.

The solutions being put forward however are being met by anger and outcry from people whose livelihoods are dependent on access to this water.

What happens in The Murray Darling will be a `world first' and the beginning of big changes in water and land usage in this climate fragile land.

Varsity Lakes Community Garden where I am a member is finding its own sustainable solutions to food production and climate extremes.

Below you can see the bridge over the swale at the entrance to the garden. It looks safe but heavy rains quickly bring water to this small creek. Several times already others and myself, have had to hurry from the garden as heavy rain swirled threateningly around the; bridge.

And below the garden prepares for the heat and drought that are the other extreme of this climate.

We have two rainwater tanks, one beside the garden shed.

And one in the middle of the garden.

Water is used from these tanks to water gardens.

We also have access to the local water supply at the garden and can use this in conjunction with local water restrictions which are currently no watering on Mondays, and other days only before ten and after four.

We all work together to conserve water and summer heat is softened by the use of mulch and shade.

As you can see by the abundance of organic green vegetables the photos our adaptations are currently working although growing vegetables during a hot, dry summer does require ingenuity and persistence.