Water Journal : Water Journal April 2013
WATER APRIL 2013 28 Young Water Professionals I sit writing this from Ao Nang in Thailand. It is a place that is very different from Australia on many levels, not least when it comes to the basics of life. Here, for example, drinking bottled water is not a lifestyle choice -- at least for visitors. It's perceived as a necessity for health reasons. There is a seemingly endless supply of plastic bottles of water for tourists. Wherever you go you can buy more bottled water, and it is cheap, at around AU50c for over a litre. Everywhere you go you see piles of empty plastic bottles -- and no recycling facilities. The resorts and other areas frequented by tourists are all sparkling clean. There are beautiful beaches, a multitude of swimming pools, pool bars and stunning water features. Yet, if rather than catching a tuk-tuk you wander about and take some of the back streets, you will see quite a different picture. I sit here on the balcony of our room with its gorgeous amenities, looking at the ve swimming pools and the pool bar and listening to the waterfall. And then I look at the little sign on the basin saying: "Water is sacred. Please help us save it". There is another message about unwanted detergents being washed into our environment through laundering towels, so we are encouraged to reuse them. These are both good messages, although I'm not sure how effective they would be for the average western tourist in Thailand. I can't help but wonder why it seems to be so hard for public money to go towards providing adequate water and wastewater treatment. Many reading this would know that both use some of the most basic technologies we have, and yet many of the 61 million Thai people have no running water or sewage treatment available to them. When I see the beautiful island paradise of Thailand being further and further spoiled on a daily basis, it makes me sad. TOO LITTLE, TOO LATE? We humans can essentially be quite dirty people. History has taught us that it is important to dispose of waste properly, keep our waterways clean, reduce, reuse, recycle, and aim for sustainable practices. Yet sometimes I look around in Australia and wonder if we have left our run too late. PARADISE LOST...? A LETTER FROM THAILAND Jo Greene -- AWA YWP National Committee President Sparkling clean swimming pools in tourist areas belie the grim reality regarding water and wastewater treatment in Thailand.
Water Journal February 2013
Water Journal May 2013