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storage dams
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excessive water
Water, Water, Water – Are We Running Out?
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Water, Water, Water – Are We Running Out?

Global warming, flooding, droughts, unusual weather patterns, sea level rising, all head liners in news papers these days, blamed on the inhabitants of the world. Big industry spewing out smoke from high stacks, vehicles exhausts, fossil fuel burners, and on and on it goes, but is it a reality?

What is a reality, the demand for water will soon exceed the supply. Storage dams built years ago, that then seemed enormous, are now too small. Cities, more populated, due to opportunities of employment, are exceeding expected growth. Housing estates, high-rise buildings, low-cost homes and squatter camps developing on all available land. Parks, sports fields, golf courses, green belts and similar being developed for entertainment areas. But what do these and the houses have in common? Water and electricity.

I am going to concentrate on the sports facilities. These fields, need a high visual standard and playing surface. The TV advertisers, paying millions for their adverts to either be shown during breaks, or to have their logos painted on the fields want a good coloured surface. To get a surface of this nature, be it a rugby, football, athletics field or a golf course needs excessive water. I can only talk with authority on Golf Courses as this is my profession.

Golf courses will use anything between one point two and three million litres of water per day, depending on the areas of play and their sizes. A three million litre user, equates to the same usage as fifteen thousand houses using two hundred litres per day. This is an enormous amount of water for a facility that may have 45 000 rounds of golf a year, and if you equate the water usage to rounds it is about 17000 litres of water required per round. Based on irrigating 230 days a year, this is the amount of water needed, and he neither drinks it or baths in it.

Something is going to give. Water resources required for human consumption, must take precedence over sports fields, and present tendencies will have to change. One can construct more storage dams, but you cannot stop the flow of water in river courses, this is environmentally unacceptable, and harmful to the food production of farms reliant on the source.

What to do? Golf courses will have to lessen the areas under irrigation, set up more natural areas, make use of wetting agents and other such incidentals. They will have to allow grasses to naturally rest in winter, become dormant and yellow, and golfers will have to accept that their pristine green all year round courses, are going to change.

Global warming, blamed for higher heat, less precipitation or more, and the general climatic changes, seen as the future demise of the world. But is global warming a cause that is only now being felt? Has this not happened as a natural cyclic phenomena, experienced before? Are our historical records of weather data old enough to say, these conditions have never happen?

I have rainfall records dating back 105 years on a particular golf course, with two years missing during the second world war. I have analysed them from head to foot, grouped years, created cycles to try to prove any theory. All I have found, if you take the average rainfall of a ten-year period, each following ten-year the average rain has increased, and this continues right the way through. Temperatures, I cannot attest to as no records for the same area exist.

My theory on global warming, like magnetic reversal, ice ages and the like, they are naturally occurring cycles that our planet experiences. I'm also convinced that I will be long dead and buried, as will my issue, before my theory disproved.


Street Talk

I have to agree with Kyle. Las Vegas with no water restrictions. I live in the Michigan and we are surrounded by the Great Lakes. Water levels of these beautiful lakes have been going down for years. Someone is pumping the water out of these lakes and leaving homes that have beach fronts look like swamp areas. There are fewer and fewer areas to even put your boat into the water. Some boat ramps have turned into mud ramps. Some of these commercial water sucking giants need to have the restrictions not the family that may just need a bath or a drink of water. Great article Rob.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Yes Rodney that is just the type of thing that worries me. Water levels dropping, yet the experts talk about sea levels rising? My concern, the dams and lakes levels are dropping, how much is going to replace lost under ground water tables that also seem to be getting lower?

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
Kyle  

I find it amazing that we have water restrictions and it rains 65% of the year and many of the desert locations out there have no water restrictions and are wondering why they are running into water problems (example, Las Vegas). You only have to go to the Hoover dam to see how much the water levels have gone down in Lake Mead in the last 10 years and that is supporting the entire business of Las Vegas. Often times the contingency plan doesn't come until it is too late, hopefully this is not the case for places of the scale of Vegas.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Is it not strange how things work, those that should conserve don't and those that do need not. I was actually surprised when figures for golf courses in Florida named. I, from our part of the world, thought It was considered a "wet state", yet I believe they have water problems.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

I really dislike giving my children a lack mentality about the most essential necessity of life. However we have to think twice about a spa bath, have a timer in the shower and turn off the tap when teeth brushing. I keep a watering can in the kitchen so that excess water isn't poured down the sink but on the garden. I envy my parents living just 6 hours south who hose water down their driveway to keep the house tidy. It's all in supply and demand.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

That's right Heather, I attended a meeting where the main speaker was an environmentalist from the Rand Water Board, the main supply to our city with the highest population. She gave us a few frightening facts. We have always tried to be water wise due to the price we pay.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
AJ  

Great article, Rob. With the coming of spring, I've been thinking a lot about gardening and my yard and how much I will be watering both this year. I am also researching rain barrels to use for watering my garden and yard (if we get enough for both) to conserve water this year as well. We can all take steps to help.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

AJ look into wetting agents, they can save you up to 55% of the water you need.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
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