to go around in Adelaide in summer. At a time when gardens need it most we go onto water restrictions.
Last year and the year before were particularly bad. People let gardens die. They paved over areas that had previously been lawn. Some people dug bores - with disastrous consequences for the water table and the alarming discovery that some of the water is badly contaminated from industry that, when it started out, was not even in areas which are now the suburbs.
Many years ago a former Premier of the State, Tom Playford, tried to do something about the problem by having a pipeline built from the Murray River. Now there are problems with getting water from that river. Everyone else wants some too.
The present government has built a desalination plant on the site of the oil refinery and plans to build a second one at the top of the gulf. There are problems with those too, particularly with the increased salination of the gulf waters and the likely impact on marine and coastal life.
I was reminded sharply of all this yesterday when I was nearly run down by an enormous truck - and I mean enormous. It could barely fit down the street I was riding along. It came up behind me at far too great a rate and I had to swerve sharply out of the way - or risk getting run over. The driver of the truck gave me a dirty sign and sailed on around the corner, narrowly missing a car coming in the other direction. I wish I had managed to get the number plate.
He had come from the site putting in "storm water pipes" along the main road that leads into the hills. The laying of these pipes has been going on for months. They do not plan to collect this water. They are just directing the run-off from the hills behind us. Despite that they still plan to dam the creek that currently runs through the park. If they do there will be no creek in the park. There was a minor flood about six years ago. It was really caused by the fact that the local council had allowed rubbish to gather in the drains that feed into the creek and that had blocked the water flow. Rather than clear rubbish regularly the government has decided it would be simpler to block the creek altogether.
I really wonder about the sanity of all of this. My father and I try to be responsible about water use. We have short showers. We recycle what water we can. We have invested in multiple rain water tanks to keep the garden alive - and, in turn, that helps to keep the house cool so that we use less energy running an airconditioning unit. It takes a bit of effort but results are worthwhile.
Blocking off the creek seems to be the exact opposite of what we are trying to do. Surely it would be simpler to keep the drains clear? Would the cost be that much greater in the long run? And, what about the ducks and the swallows who live under the bridge in the park?
Government logic defeats me.