Thursday, November 01, 2007

Man V Mussels

In a follow up to our post:

Arguments over Droughts, Dams and Water Shortages: Kicking off in the US

where I suggested that the trade off between the wildlife and drinking water for citizens may leave a few fish short of somewhere to live has taken the expected turn.

There is also something about the title "Man v Mussels" that screamed to be used as a blog title.

When journalists start shipping in the general public to provide soundbites it is pretty clear that your average endangered mussel is not going to get much of a look in. Mussels are simply unable to attract the same emotional following as Tigers and Whales unfortunately for them.

Blaming Mussels Won't Solve US Water Woes [Planet Ark]

MIAMI - According to officials in the state of Georgia, one solution to a drought gripping the normally soggy US Southeast is to take up the battle cry of "Man versus Mussel."

Gov. Sonny Perdue says the US Army Corps of Engineers has been allowing Georgia's water to flow to endangered mussels and other species in Florida and thereby preventing state residents from sprinkling their yards and hosing down their cars.

"I'm telling you, when it comes to choosing between mussels and drinking water for children, I'm about fed up with this mess," Perdue said after declaring an emergency this month as Atlanta's main source of water dropped to what the state said was a 90-day supply.

To end it is worth throwing in a quote from the same article. It is still not clear why US water consumption should be so much higher per capita. Are Americans cleaner that us Brits? Is this related to the size of the average American compared to a Brit or is it merely the US agricultural sector's inefficient use of water?

Americans are among the largest consumers of water on the planet, as they are of oil and other natural resources. The average American uses 373,900 gallons (1.7 million litres) of water a year, seven times as much as the average Briton.


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