Friday, December 22, 2006

Me and Mrs Jones or 'who is to blame?'

I like Mrs Jones, wife of Barry O. Jones ex Labor Party apparatchik. Every working day I drive past her lovely garden, with beautiful roses over arches, falling creepers over walls and the most stunning bouganvillea (Rasberrry Ice?) spilling over her garden fence. She works hard at her garden and I ofter see her pottering about with a tool in her hand.

But what is to happen to her garden if we have stop watering gardens unless it is recycled water? Maybe she has a facility set up to do so already. I guess they can afford the cost.

I heard a tragic tale of a old woman with a large garden. The property had been in her family for three generations and over that time the garden had been established and improved on and it is now a stunning garden.

But she is an old women. If she can't turn her watering sprinklers on, the garden will wither and die. Watering by buckets is beyond her. 150 years perhaps, dead history.

Our normally beautiful park lawns in the Botanic Gardens, Royal Domain, St Kilda Road median strips, City Square, Library lawns, in fact everywhere are dry. The water has been switched off and the grass is brown. They will come back when it rains, up to a point, but some will never really recover. Heavily trafficked places like the Library will have to replanted I think and what an expense.

It looks terrible for tourists who come to see our beautiful gardens. Along with brown and dying grass, not a fountain is working, not a building's water feature is operating.

It is a disgrace and blame must go majorly to the Victorian state government for nor ensuring our city has a adequate water supply. Yes, weather patterns are changing. We green loons have known that for a while. It is called the 'greenhouse effect'. Not a new phrase exactly and while I thought it might mean more humidity and rain for us, it hasn't. Now we are running out of water, all governments are starting to react. A little too late. Australia has always been a country of periodic droughts. Nothing new there. El Nino has been known about for a while too. So why hasn't our water supply been assured?

I remember helping my grandparents bucket water their garden in 1968 I think. Severe drought. Nearly forty years later we are almost in the same position. We just keep adding more and more people without the infrastructure.

I may as well go back to the farm where I grew up; to the two inches of muddy water in the bottom of the bath to bathe in and picking the mosquito lavae and bits of frogs out of the drinking water.

There are so many ways to manage our water better. Why wasn't a start made years ago?

Forty years on, I still have to worry about the lack of water and watch gardens and lawns die. To keep our show piece gardens and trees alive and well would not take much water. I just know it is alarmist propagander, being seen to be proactive. Not good enough Bolte/Hamer/Thompson/Cain/Kirner/Kennett/Bracks.


  1. Water infrastructure is something that so long as a 4 year government could forget, it all worked. It's due to our type of democracy that no long-term decisions are made to benefit everyone (Citylink for the next 25 years, etc). The attitude is that so long as it's working now, there's no need to worry (or spend up on the future).

  2. I no longer have a back lawn :-(

  3. You are so right. There was a serious 1981 drought which should have jogged somebody into action.
    There is a trickle down or 'Butterfly effect' - f'rinstance: Boral bricks and sand require huge amount of water to make both of those things and their existing supply has dried up ...
    Councils make their money from property rates and all the Big Houses and their glorious gardens will go to hell and look like dumps and be worth less ...

    ..of course, if Coca-Cola and Schweppes soft drink manufacturing was shutdown for a week , thinbk of the gazillions of litres saved ...

    X X X

  4. We would have to drink our spirits straight without a mixer. Hmmm,I could get used to that.