From the Guardian, an illustration of how desperate times can produce seemingly desperate measures:
A severe drought is drying up drinking water across Australia, threatening to shut down big population centres but also creating the conditions for a revolution in water use.
Worst hit is the farming town of Goulburn, south-west of Sydney. Its biggest dam, Pejar, currently holds less than 10% of its 1,000 megalitre (220m gallon) capacity.
The town will become the first in Australia to run out of water in six months, if it gets no substantial rain and if emergency plans for new water supplies fail to work…
Goulburn’s residents are likely to become the first to start drinking treated sewage – a practice long shunned elsewhere. “Someone’s got to do it. And then it will probably go through the rest of Australia,” said Paul Stephenson, Goulburn’s mayor. Scientists back the plans. “Closed systems taking and treating waste waters and putting them back into the system are the way of the future,” said Colin Creighton, of the government-backed Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation. A hi-tech A$30m (£13m) sewage treatment plant could be delivering drinking water to Goulburn’s dams within five years.
We’ll definitely have to keep an eye on this one, as it has worldchanging potential. At the same time, though, can you imagine trying to convince people that water from treated sewage is safe and healthy?