In the 21st century, most people look to the oil and fossil fuel industry as the sector most likely to suffer compression of delivery and related economic stress. Yet water is the resource most under pressure. Whilst the two are inextricably linked through the manufacture of plastic bottles, (each bottle consumed uses approx 1/4 of the available content as oil in manufacture and supply) most people are unaware of the financial, environmental and social costs being stored up for the future.
There is enough safe, clean drinking water for every person on this planet. But too many – one in nine people – lack access to clean water. Whilst in Greyton we have access to water, most will agree that its management, quality and storage are under performing.
Access to water has long been recognised as crucial to realising the most basic human rights, and in 2010, compelled by global advocates and government champions, the United Nations General Assembly affirmed the fundamental human right to water.
In 2008 a movie called Tapped, explored many of the issues relating to the environmental and human costs of using bottled water, whilst focusing on the USA experiences many of the discoveries and consequences are as relevant to us in Greyton and our surrounding communities as they are to the west.
Bottles cost – they cost in manufacture, transportation and disposal, whilst the variable water quality in Greyton encourages ‘safe’ drinking practice via the use of bottled water, the costs to our community of poor water quality are borne by all of us. GTT seeks to encourage water recycling and use of grey water, but also expects the local municipality to invest time and resources into improving our water quality, safety and storage. We need to work on these key aspects for the future of our community and safety of our food supply.
We have periods of water abundance followed by periods of water deprivation, better storage and multiple re-use of our water supply is an essential part of Transition management, but outside of the laudable aims is the shared demand for safe, efficient and well managed water to our homes and farms. Water extraction and use will continue to change, and our communities will feel the costs of these effects through rising charges and compression of quality, we need investment in infrastructure and education on how to best manage the limited water supply more effectively.
GTT support the intention and goals of the town manager to improve water delivery and quality, through better storage and reutilisation, then the desire and need for plastic bottles of water will decline, less waste will be generated and the costs to our community in terms of environmental and economic will decline.