Water use in Dubai and its neighbours

I was just reminded of my shock at my first sight of Dubai more than 30 years ago: http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=top-10-water-wasters&sc=IDR_water
Talk about watering the desert! My first sight of Dubai was flying in low before landing at the airport. I had expected the vast desert and glaring sand, but the sprinklers spewing huge jets of water gaily into the air was just mind boggling! I couldn't fathom where they got the water from and how they could find it in their hearts to then “waste” it by watering ground in full sunlight, with no people on it and no organic matter spread about. I was open mouthed my whole time there [creating more evaporation, on reflection…]. Of course over the years I realised that Dubai could do what it bloody liked because it was rich- and it's still doing the same crazy exploitation of the earth's resources with building “islands” full of luxury apartments endorsed by such upstanding members of the world community as David Beckham. With the ocean there full of water, Dubai continues to prosper and exploit and nobody can stop them.
Australia is by comparison, pretty careful, compared with the scale of  wastage in Dubai, but naturally, over the years Australia has done a lot of unwise things with water. We probably should not have diverted the Snowy- but its a bit late to remedy that now, with millions of extra population depending on the water running the wrong way! The Murray seems to be having a natural revenge by drying up anyway. South Australia dammed up the lower Murray and Lake Alexandrina with the barrages, salting up the Murray Mouth. They stuck zillions of marginal farms and vineyards on the salty land an waited for it to calm down- now they forget what times were like before and resist removing the barrages for the good of the river. Oh dear they say- the land will get all salty and our farms will be ruined… it's sad, but in IMHO they shouldn't have put farms there in the first place.
On the other hand, a lot of Adelaide suburbs are built below the 50-year flood line. Most people never look at the old flood maps before purchasing a house and when stormwater overflows during storms they scream at councils and government about it. They also complain that they can't get any claims accepted on their insurance for water that flows across the ground. Insurance companies aren't silly- they know the flood lines and exclude flooding in the policies- but no one reads them!!
We're such a bunch of messers, really. And don';t get me started on modern “fashionable” houses in the suburbs that don't have any eaves! At one stage you weren't allowed to build without a certain overhang for sun exclusion- then suddenly all that went out the window and the sun came back in! What an idiot bunch of humans- why can't I be a cat??

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