Spectacular Sewers

Madison Kuhlmann, News Editor

  As an avid reader, often leaning towards the science fiction genre, it always amazes me to see how insightfully creative authors can be years ahead of social, political, or even economic issues throughout the world. Lately, in reading Sewer, Gas, & Electric by Matt Ruff this idea has particularly struck a cord of relevance.

  One does not have to live in California all their life to know that California often has the issue of drought. And now, according to The Daily Breeze, countless counties in Southern California have decided that research in reusing wastewater and untainted runoff may prove beneficial. This upcoming project nicknamed “Toilet to tap” has been circulating the news in and around the Los Angeles area for about a year now. It was just last week that there was any actual confirmation of this project from the California representatives before the American Water Works Association.

  Companies in the area had previously believed they were immune to drought because of the desalination plants in the works and the other programs already in place to stretch out the uses of water without costing more of it from their resources. But this year’s drought has proved a greater battle than they were prepared for, the efforts made by citizens and officials alike still might not be enough.

  Ironically, in his novel from the late 1990’s, Matt Ruff, uses a decently sized section the first chapter to explain that despite the collapsed ethics of the population the newly capitalist run country has solved the issues of both drought and chemically tainted water in the cities. One inventor in New York city found a way to reuse wastewater for both powering the entire city but cleansing it to suit the needs of each citizen as well. The plan rolling into motion in these six Southern California counties is based on a very similar concept.

  Water drained from houses will be filtered into a much more “eco-friendly” facility than that of a desalination plant where that water will undergo an extensive series of heat treatments and cleansing processes before being redirected to the waterlines in residential areas and business circuits. If testing goes according to plan any city in the world will virtually be able to satisfy the necessities of its citizens as far as water is concerned.

  Although droughts may still pose limits and hurdles for cities “Toilet to Tap” will be much more reliable than current water preserves or the drawn out process of desalination. People will be able to make set amounts of water last even longer.

   Science fiction tends to play a pretty perceptive role in our advancements as a society, but Sewer, Gas & Electric might have been just what we needed to get Southern California back on its feet.