[Image: Lake Lanier, Atlanta’s primary source of drinking water, gets lower and lower; photo by Pouya Dianat for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution].
Via Pruned, we read that Atlanta may have less than four months of water left, that the governor of North Carolina has asked his constituents “to stop using water for any purpose ‘not essential to public health and safety,’” and that an ongoing, 18-month drought, complete with “cloudless blue skies and high temperatures,” has “shriveled crops and bronzed lawns from North Carolina to Alabama.”
So is this the new desert southeast, a grassless landscape of abandoned golf courses, college dorms left empty amidst the remains of dying pine forests, and the sand dunes of Kitty Hawk creeping in toward Raleigh-Durham?
And could Atlanta really run out of water before March 2008?
11 thoughts on “Drained”
It doesn’t -feel- that bleak out here in Raleigh. It rained for about ten minutes this morning – I could see it from my cubicle window, though now the sun appears to be out again.
Weather cycles, and Gore’s nobel prize aside, there’s always room for pondering Elijan prophecies.
Here in southeast Virginia they keep telling us we’re in a major drought, but they’re not putting water restrictions in place. I remember countless summers where we weren’t allowed to water lawns or wash cars, but there has been none of that this year.
What could possibly be better? (Well, okay, I can think of a few things, but not many.)
The lines are being drawn already. The Southeast v the South Central, the Southwest vs. Colorado-Utah, Texas out on its own where it belongs. LET THE WATER WARS BEGIN.
18 month drought? big deal, australia has been in a drought for 7 years, we are admist a water crisis, but thats after 7 years of extremly low rain. most major cities are down to 30% water capacity in their dams. and we are all on permanent water restrictions.
water storage, and dealing with water is a major deal, and so having an area that can’t deal without having rain for 18 months is pretty bad. i think all countries with low rain fall need to have extremly long term vision to fix problems like these.
it’s possible that in australia what we’re dealing with is a new climate, a new rain (or lack thereof) pattern.
it is seriously threatening our agricultural economy, not to the extent that it would collapse at this stage, but it is significantly diminishing our production. which is very scary because agriculture is one of our primary sources of foreign income.
everyday food is already more expensive.
meanwhile the government thinks that a desalination plant is the answer, as though pumping yet more GHGs into the atmosphere to power these things is a good idea.
there was actually a study done recently that found that if every household in melbourne had a water tank, we wouldn’t need a desalination plant, because enough water actually falls onto our roofs every year but we just let it wash down the drain.
when my father built his house in new south wales just out side of canberra, in 1992, he wanted to put in two water tanks, one off the house, the other off the garage. but he wasn’t allowed to, it was against the rules for the suburb.
now they are offering subsidies to put in tanks and there are waiting lists to buy them here now.
all new houses need water tanks, even if not used for drinking, but for flushing toilets and gardens. its just common sense that each person store their own water when we have the ability to do it.
RE: the Australian drought, Dan Hill’s City of Sound has at least two great posts about its architectural, social, and even psychological implications: Apocalypse Sydney and Suspended at a junction in time: Australia, Silent Running, The Drowned World and the University of Queensland. Worth reading.
I just moved to Atlant in the last 3 months and I seriously think they’re overreacting on the complete lack of water, but I guess I can see why. From what I’ve read, most counties in N GA are under outdoor watering bans and other water restrictions and many have seen drops in usage up to 30%. You get closer to downtown Atlanta and the usage has dropped maybe 3-10% (mostly because there are less residential customers with lawns closer into the city). Ironically enough, DeKalb county directly to the east of ATL actually went up in water usage since the restrictions were put in place. Corporate office centers don’t care and are still watering their lawns whenever they feel like it, but its us homeowners that are hurting. I just bought a house that has newer landscaping and I’m just hoping about half of my trees will be back in the spring. Don’t even get me started on all the car washes here and people’s obsession with having them wash the second a bird craps on them…
People always cite “The Drowned World” but isn’t “The Drought” more apropos?
A shimmer of hope for us here in New Orleans. We have an accessible location, the port capacity, and 600,000 cubic feet per second of fresh water barreling down from the biggest river on the continent. We’ start loading it on to oil tankers and ship it over to Tampa or Savannah…