La Viñuela reservoir is suffering the effects of the drought. / JORGE GUERRERO/AFP

When mañana comes

Water rationing shouldn't be something to resort to, especially as we have the technology to desalinate seawater


We should almost never put things off for 'mañana'. However, at this time of year switching off is ingrained into the system. Even the news is trivial and only now and again has something serious in it. Except the totally catastrophic that these days is the norm. The tsunami coming, the drought warning, the Mediterranean on fire, the heatwaves... And of course all totally created, provoked and produced by humankind. True, false, standing up to scrutiny or not, it is what it is.

But beyond the simply sensational, it is worth stepping back and thinking a bit about the really pressing issues, so we are ready to confront them together with the best tools at our disposal. In a world where three quarters of the surface is water, there is a huge problem with... water. Whatever they may say, current technology isn't smart enough to make it rain and we keep on with prayers to the gods or even rain dances. Yet, they have already discovered how to remove salt from seawater, and without much cost. But instead of rolling up our sleeves and filling the reservoirs with this desalinated water, we carry on rationing, advising, cutting supplies and fines. In Spain, the so-called National Hydrological Plan is long forgotten because of the perversion of some politicians. This was a vision well thought out for the year 2000 that even got European funding. There is still time to restart this plan and update it with other elements such as making fresh water from the sea.

Whatever happens, the solutions shouldn't mean lowering the population, which, however it is sugarcoated, is not on. Neither is the answer stopping water usage, rationing showers, giving up farming, or any of those gems they want to force upon us. It's like the latest endeavours - standard fare in some latitudes -to get us to eat crickets or other insects - which you can get really tired of hearing. The politicians and the powers that be should get off their itchy feet and end their desire to transform society as if we humans were Plasticine It is a good idea to investigate and propose, but there's so much manipulative propaganda looking for paradigm changes through blind error or pure economic interest - or both.

Look at one of those radical changes which is starting to seem not so clear cut - the transition to green energy. They are being forced to rethink going all out for alternative sources of power when they don't have things in place to deliver them.

When we all get back to work, we have got to wise up a bit, sweep aside prejudices and stop labelling 'science' what is still being researched and is work in progress. And let's hope it rains too!