Water Journal : Water Journal February 2013
WATER FEBRUARY 2013 38 Feature Article reducing the virtual water content of the produce as has been occurring in northern Victoria, is also likely to become much more widespread. There is some hope that genetically engineered self-nitrogenating crops (using legume-type mechanisms), combined with improved pest and drought tolerance features, can also improve crop productivity. If proven and demonstrated to be safe, these will doubtless play a key role. The permaculture movement, which started in Tasmania, may also have some answers (Permaculture Australia, 2012). Permaculture entails a detailed program of crop rotation and views wastes as resources. Permaculturalists recognise that our crops, our livestock and ourselves contain a large amount of phosphorus, so it makes sense that organic waste materials, including human wastes, will be the principal nutrient sources for our food crops. While growing more food is one answer, the resource requirements to do so are signi cant. Thus increased focus on reducing waste, misallocation and loss will remain priorities, while some increased farming may also occur. However, to maintain current production despite increasingly constrained resources will entail new approaches to nutrient production and conservation, especially phosphorus. CONCLUSION A famous quote of Theodore Roosevelt's states: "In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing". It is clear that fossil fuel use and resource exploitation in the past has given major social bene ts to many, and it is tempting to sit back and assume this will continue. However, the current fossil-fuelled era cannot last; either the fuel will run out, or we will ruin the planet. Scienti c evidence points to the latter occurring rst, and soon. While we should retain our centralised infrastructure, we also must re-task it, connecting solar panels, wind farms and storage into a new multi-directional, rather than top down, grid. Likewise our water systems and food supply must adapt, while we ourselves must embrace local micro catchments, practice recycling, and utilise renewable energy. Time will help re ne the right path, but turning our cities into a type of solar- and wind-powered 'rainforest', integrating everything and wasting nothing, is a course we must eventually take; it's not the wrong thing -- and is far better than doing nothing. WJ REFERENCES Australia Network News (2012): Japan's Ruling Party to Phase Out Nuclear Power, Australia Network News, 28 November, viewed 17 January 2013, www.abc.net.au/news/2012- 11-28/an-japan-nuclear/4395782. Beyond Zero Emissions (2010): Zero Carbon Australia -- Stationary Energy Plan, viewed 17 January 2013, media.beyondzeroemissions.org/ ZCA2020_Stationary_Energy_Report_v1.pdf. Bloomberg New Energy Finance (2013): China Unveils Massive Clean Energy Plan for 2013, viewed 17 January 2013, reneweconomy.com. au/2013/china-unveils-massive-clean-energy- plan-for-2013-2013?utm_source=rss&utm_ medium=rss&utm_campaign=china-unveils- massive-clean-energy-plan-for-2013-2013. Ehrlich PR (1971): 'The Problem', in The Population Bomb, 2nd Edition, Ballantine Books, New York, p4. Gilding P (2011): Global Foreshock -- the Year that Growth Stopped, in The Great Disruption, Blooomsbury, Great Britain, pp 76--88. Gustavsson J, Cederberg C, Sonesson U, van Otterdijk R & Meybeck A (2011): Global Food Losses and Food Waste, Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, Study for the International Congress, Germany, p 4. Hepburn Wind (2012): Hepburn Community Wind Farm, viewed 17 January 2013, hepburnwind. com.au/the-project/. Howe C, Skinner R & Ewert J (2012): Implementing the City of the Future: Tackling the Key Issues, Water21, December 2012, pp 12--14. Leggett J (2012): On the Verge of an Energy Transition, viewed 17 January 2013, www. youtube.com/watch?v=Jrgbt5UBThQ Permaculture Australia (2012): Permaculture... The Beginnings, viewed 17 January 2013, permacultureaustralia.org.au/permaculture- the-beginnings/. Renewable UK (2013): Renewable Energy, viewed 17 January 2013, www.renewableuk.com/ en/renewable-energy/wind-energy/uk-wind- energy-database/index.cfm. Sidem (2013): Frequently Asked Questions, viewed 17 January 2013, www.sidem-desalination.com/ en/Process/FAQ/ The Girl Effect (2012): The Girl Effect -- About, viewed 17 January 2013, www.girleffect.org/ about/#. Torresol Energy (2010): Plants, viewed 17 January 2013, www.torresolenergy.com/TORRESOL/ plantas.html. WaterAid (2012): The Need, viewed 17 January 2013, www.wateraid.org/international/what_we_ do/the_need/default.asp. World Food Program (2013): Hunger -- FAQs, viewed 23 January 2013, www.wfp.org/hunger/faqs. In a rainforest, dying foliage, fallen fruit and animal droppings provide nutrients that feed the roots of the trees, creating a sustainable solar-powered biosphere.
Water Journal April 2013
Water Journal December 2012