South Australia - the driest state on the driest continent - already has a reputation as the village idiot given twice as much water [in an average year] falls on Adelaide as the city needs to function...but this water isn't considered safe to use and is allowed to flow out to sea.
those in government still [seriously!] think that the stuff that's pumped from the once-mighty Murray [and has been through seven sets of intestines, never mind the rest of the chemical cocktail it carries] is of higher quality. they've saved a bit of this lovely brew in the reservoirs where the daily evaporation rate of an average half-inch off the surface is concentrating the salts and so forth nicely.
one of those reservoirs has been constructed on the River Torrens up in the Mount Lofty Ranges. further down where the Torrens puddles through the city of Adelaide there's a weir that holds back the "Torrens Lake". or did.
a night or so ago, while the lock-keeper was having a cup of tea and a bickie and not really paying attention having dropped a few stitches on his knitting... one of the little motory thingies that controls part of the lock decided to give up the ghost, let the water gurgle out and dribble away to the sea.
nobody noticed in the dark and so the city woke up to these jolly scenes.
i happened past the riverbank on other business later in the day and was politely informed by a gentleman reclining at the riverside with a bottle in a brown paper bag that the way to park your car in the river like this is to let it roll down the embankment [with some encouragement] and drop it in the river whereupon it apparently floats to the middle and then sinks.
i enquired whether his information was gleaned from a wealth of experience and he giggled. which may or may not have had something to do with the bottle in the brown paper bag.
local opinion is that the river is going to look like that for some time...at least until the next rains; as if they pull the plug on the reservoir upstream Adelaide residents will have to bathe in champagne or asses milk... because there certainly won't be any water left.
and i'm betting any fish that happened to be swimming past the mouth of the Torrens when it was spewing forth its disgusting effluent into the sea are feeling more than a little queasy now - the water is so revoltingly putrid and polluted that bathing has been banned for years!