Can the Water Crisis be bailed out?

7 January 2011

Can the water crisis be bailed out?

The findings of the Commission into last year’s Deepwater Horizon blowout concluded that, ultimately, the disaster was due to a single failure: Management.  When decisions were made, no one was considering the risk.

The same risk assessment applies to our water crisis – managers do not see the bigger picture and see the dangers of sustained inaction (as opposed to the much touted and perhaps an oxymoron, sustainable development).  This has been going on for a long time

One has to ask, what are the regulator’s advisors saying?  Are the advisors perhaps the same people who advised us into this mess in the first place?  If so then they are not likely to be keen to expose their own ineptitude.   There seems to be a marked resistance to engaging with newer, relevant skills and thinking.  Coupled to this is the problem that the path between decision makers and scientific opinion has become so long and convoluted – as a consequence of skills loss, inappropriate affirmative action and other issues, that it is essentially not viable.  Managers and decision makers have no ready avenue or support structure on which to base their conclusions.

Now, more than ever, is the need for a non-aligned colloquium of residual skills and knowledge. The DWA has been reluctant to take up this challenge and industry will need to underpin such an approach.  If not, then the costs of production are going to become punitive for many manufacturers.

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