Don’t assume temporary water conservation has solved the drought problem. Sure, we can toast our efforts so far, just remember, sip-don’t-gulp.
Because, the problem is not that it doesn’t rain enough. The problem is we’re using too much water for our own good; without regard for the uncertainty of its replenishment or the needs of future generations.
We have choices, if you call them that. “If you want to predict the future you have to invent it,” Peter Drucker observed. We can attempt to figure out how to manipulate Mother Nature and make it rain at-will, which is highly unlikely. Or, we make desalination of ocean water cost-effective, which may not happen for decades. Investing in water storage infrastructure and implementing more comprehensive regional water sharing could help, but must overcome political, fiscal and territorial concerns.
More immediately and realistically, the challenge is to change what was perceived to be a temporary solution – water conservation – to a long-range commitment. This is no easy task, what with the rainy season we finally experienced and the overflowing reservoirs and raging rivers. Plus, there’s the practical and psychological disconnect when telling citizens who cut water use by nearly 25 percent that it’s not enough.
There is a positive spin on water conservation: At least we now know how. And, more importantly, we know why: our children.
Next generations may be more inventive; they typically are; still who could imagine, let alone survive a future without water. It would be incredibly selfish to burden our descendants with such a death-defying challenge.
Even with this year’s rain and drought relief, our water glass is half full, only; and for future generations will likely ever be half-empty at best.
This dry spell has taught us two valuable lessons: 1) Rain and droughts are unpredictable; and 2) It is not enough to conserve water for awhile or even for a few years, we need to: CONSERVE FOR EVER.
I’ll drink to that!