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Berlin municipality to ration drinking water

The slogan of the Greens in Germany [Grün wirkt!] can now be quite literally translated into exactly the opposite of what it promises: The increasing scarcity of resources and restrictions as a result of the self-inflicted energy crisis are casting their shadows on everyday life, as "Green works!"

Published: April 23, 2022, 9:35 am

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    With eco-conscious Berlin’s “Master Water Plan”, water consumption is now being rationed for the first time – even without a drought.

    The future of Germany is taking shape in Berlin. This applies not only to the open border migration policy, the city’s complete over-indebtedness or the dominance of violent clan crime, but also to the coming climate dictatorship: Due to the water shortage, which has been foreseeable for some time, the Senate is planning measures to reduce water consumption in its “Water Master Plan”.

    Accordingly, the new plan is to contain more than 30 measures to reduce water consumption in the capital.

    Penalties for too much consumption

    And that has consequences: The water association Strausberg-Erkner (WSE) has already started rationing supplies. Initially, the limitations only applied to newcomers to the region; for them, water consumption in newly built houses is limited to 105 liters per person per day. If the quota is exceeded, fines are automatically due. But from 2025, this rule will be extended to all residents of the catchment area.

    Since the previous statistical daily consumption in the affected region is 175 liters per person – and the national average is at least 126 liters – this rationing means a considerable restriction. With doctrinaire slogans reminiscent of socialist mismanagement, such as “You decide: climate protection begins at your tap,” the WSE, in the spirit of its green pacemaker, is pushing for “conscious” water consumption and reminding citizens that “filling the swimming pool, washing the car in the garden, extensive lawn irrigation are not part of the necessary drinking water supply”.

    WSE association leader André Bähler identified the poor Berlin allotment garden owners as the main culprits. Although these are not registered in the association area, watering their gardens drives up consumption. The increase in water consumption in summer is not due to households, but to people trying to grow their own food.

    Water use by Musk factory?

    However, some also blame Tesla’s newly built Giga factory, which is located in the catchment area of ​​the WSE, for its extreme water consumption. For these, however, well, the permissible funding amounts have already been increased by the red-green state government. Different standards apply to “global player” Musk and the sacred cow e-mobility.

    Musk is said to have already invested around five billion euros in the factory, a sum that the Brandenburg Ministry of Economic Affairs confirmed, even if Tesla did not want to provide any information.

    However, WSE spokeswoman Sandra Ponesky sees the new regulation for consumers as at best an intensification of a long-standing basic problem: The fact that the drinking water supply has to be guaranteed by small associations is fundamentally “too small-scale”. These issues need to be resolved at the federal and state levels. In plain language: its water centralism instead of regional solutions and competition.

    The WSE is currently not allowed to pump more than 15 million cubic metres of water out of the ground per year. While this would allow it to supply the current population in the region and the Tesla factory at its currently planned scale, it also raises fears that the amount available will be far from sufficient in the near future.

    Green enthusiasm meets reality

    The Tesla factory is being built in an area rich in forests and lakes and in a water protection area. According to an EU directive – the Strategic Environmental Assessment Directive – large investment projects require investments to be made with the least environmental impact. This test was not performed for the Tesla factory. So much for “green” concerns.

    It is expected that “in the wake of Tesla” more companies will settle in the region, and with them significantly more people. In addition, the Bundeswehr data centre planned in Barnim and the Altlandsberg industrial estate will also need water in the future. The WSE therefore expects that its annual water quota of 15 million cubic metres will only last until the end of 2022. The association is now asking the state authorities for permission to pump an additional three million cubic metres per year. However, permission has not yet been granted.

    There is also the question of whether Tesla plans to expand the factory further in the future. According to the latest plans, the Giga factory will be somewhat smaller than originally planned and there will also be no in-house battery production at the Grünheide site for the time being. However, there is still uncertainty about plans for future expansions of the factory. If Tesla plans to do so and the factory thus needs more water than the maximum 1,5 million cubic metres per year currently applied for, the situation is likely to get worse.

    Because expanding the factory would need more water, Tesla did not want to contractually commit to the quantities currently under discussion initially.

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