Friday, August 15, 2008

Water Civil War?

How desperate will state governments become, and how far will they go, when their cities become truly dry? Obviously the idea of a civil war breaking out over fresh water flows is ridiculous. For now. But another decade of drought might change all that. The driest country in the world can still become even drier, especially when you remember that Australia's population is expected to increase by another five million people by 2020.

I'm still undecided on whether South Australian premier Mike Rann is ranting like a loon, in this story, or if he's right on the money. Regardless, it's truly bizarre to hear an Australian premier accuse another state of terrorism :

...Rann says the diversion of water from the Paroo River in Queensland is an act of terrorism during a water crisis.

The river runs from south-west Queensland to north-western New South Wales.

In 2003 the two states agreed to protect it from dams, weirs and irrigators but satellite images of the river show 10 kilometres of channels and a dam have been built.

Mr Rann has described it as a criminal act.

"That is an act of terrorism against the nation, it's terrorism from within during a water crisis," he said.

"So my view is that anybody and I don't care who they are or how big they are or how important they are, if they're diverting water illegally they should be locked up, it should be a criminal offence."

Soon enough, it probably will be.