Global Cooling Part 4: Waste Water Wasted

To conclude some thoughts about global warming being the process of human cultural estrangement from water, these words today. They began here, then flowed here and here, with a stopover here, in the drought of depopulated human space, and here we are, in the last of the wetlands, which used to purify the water system and now, well, purify toilets. Hmm.

Wright Soccer Field Approach

That’s right. The final step in the sewage treatment process ignores the wetlands for the green moonscape of a chemically-enhanced soccer pitch and all its weekend families and shin scrapes.

All fine and good, maybe, but… well, just but. It’s not all about humans. It’s also about regulations placed on humans by their social contexts, and may I, cough cough, suggest by their environmental and historical contexts as well. For instance, here in Vernon, on old aboriginal land still in a land claim process after 119 years (embarrassing, really), the rest of the water from the sewage plants, well, look…

Watering the Grasslands With Big Fire Sprinklers

Ka-chook! Ka-chook! Ka-chook! Day and night.

In the houses below, water use is restricted by a gradated level of metred water rates, because, well, there’s not enough water in the valley (ignore those clouds, please) to sustain any increase in human population, let alone the one that is here right now. Now, for a closer look, first the physical appearance… ta da!

See That?

On unceded (ie stolen) indigenous land, the water flushed down Vernon’s drains goes through its last stage of purification in the stomachs of beef cattle. Eeyewwww.

It has a fitting symbolic dimension, but, well, eeeyew. That’s the one thing. The other thing is the water. It is officially called a “green” initiative, and look at it all…

Water, Wasted

In this near-desert climate, parched by the engine of the Coast Mountains, which suck all the water out of the Pacific winds and create rain forests with it up and down the coast, over 50% of all water evaporates into the dry air as that air tries to plump itself up again. The air is, in other words, a desert. The land isn’t.

So, water…

1. 15,000,000 litres are sprayed on the hillsides and sport fields of the city every day, of which…

2. over 50% evaporates into the air, lost to the living system it has the capacity to support. Without life to regulate the seasons through bringing cool season water into the hills and wetlands, the valley heats up. Global warming isn’t just about Carbon Dioxide in the air, puff puff.

3. Yet the people of Vernon are asked to put in low-flush toilets, cover their yards in gravel rather than food plants, and so on, to conserve precious water, or, in other words…

4. The cattle barons who disenfranchised the Syilx people are still at it.

This is called water erosion.


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