Thursday, November 29, 2007

Water woes

At Critical Miami, a discussion of sorts on how not to waste water, including a description of an Australian water-saving toilet that actually makes sense. (I've never understood the antipathy against low-flush toilets: they work just fine, and on the rare times you have to flush twice, still save water over the old models.)

At any rate, thinking about this should, I'd think, come naturally to anyone who's spent time enduring Florida's regular droughts. I learned there, long ago, during low water times, to keep a dishpan or bucket in the sink to catch rinsing water for watering plants or other uses; same with a bucket in the shower, and flushing less--well, at least until we got a cat that likes to drink from the bowl....

But, it doesn't come naturally to many people. Take Georgia gov. Sunny Perdue. Or take these guys in Palm Beach, in this Wall Street Journal story, who use more water in a day than most of us use in a year. Or this guy in Atlanta, in this New York Times story. What are they thinking?
A homeowner in Marietta, Ga., used 440,000 gallons in September, or about 14,700 gallons a day. By comparison, the average consumption in the United States is about 150 gallons a day per person, and in the Atlanta metropolitan area about 183 gallons...
...Consider Nelson Peltz. The investor and food magnate's oceanfront estate, called Montsorrel, is among the island's biggest water consumers. His 13.8-acre spread, which combines two properties, used not quite 21 million gallons of water over the past 12 months -- or about 57,000 gallons a day on average -- at a cost of more than $50,000, according to records obtained from the local water utility. That compares with 54,000 gallons a year for an average single-family residence in Palm Beach...

Over at Fragments from Floyd, Fred First reminds us that it takes a lot of water to make electricity too (not to mention ethanol). It's all part of the same problem, folks: we have too many people using too many resources. We all have to think about cutting back, all the time.

Waterblogged and Fred First also mention a story about a new planned water park in Arizona that seems like a crazy idea. Well, maybe crazy, but contagious, I guess, because a city near Chattanooga has just approved a new water park there. There's still water in the Tennessee River, but the Tenn. Valley is in the middle of severe drought too. What are people thinking?

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