Saturday, 13 December 2008


It's raining in Melbourne.

Raining like it hasn't rained in years.

Raining like it used to in the dim distant rain-soaked past, before the Big Dry and water restrictions and desalination plants.

Once upon a time Melbourne was famous for its rain. Tourism ads for Queensland would play on the point. A rugged-up Melburnian looks out the rain-soaked window of a tram to see... sunshine! And beaches! And bikinis! And so much of it! Just a short(ish) trip away!

That all changed with El NiƱo, the weather pattern in the south Pacific that sucks all the rainfall to the north and causes endless political bickering.

To recycle? Or desalinate? Costs now vs costs later. Use less! Save more! Take a bucket into the shower. And an egg-timer. Don't flush that! If it's yellow let it mellow.

And now it's raining. Beautiful, cleansing, soaking, sodding rain. It's rained for almost 24 hours straight.

So is this the end of the drought? Can we quietly forget the recent admonition to use only 155 litres each per day? (that's about 40 gallons for our Imperial American friends).

Probably not.

We foolishly don't gather storm water so most of this precious bounty will just be running out to sea.

If it rains over the city catchments we might see the dams rise, but it'll take more than a day or two to make much difference.

This is just another round in the cycle.

You know ... those droughts and flooding rains.

Just like in the poem.