Making Rain

The good people of Toowoomba, Australia, a town of about 90,000 that sits atop the Great Dividing Range in southeast Queensland, have a branding problem on their hands. Residents of the nation's "Garden City" have not been able to use their sprinklers for nearly three years. Handheld hoses got the kibosh two years ago and, in 2006, watering the lawn by bucket was also banned.

Why? Toowoomba's residents are slowly running out of water, and have been for the past 15 years, along with nearly everyone else in this corner of eastern Australia. The...

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