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Tide turns on restrictions as water use rises - The Age

Discussion in 'The Pub' started by Sir Ride Alot, Feb 26, 2012.

  1. What is wrong with this Craig Pearson bloke? Has his job become unsustainable? Who the f'ck is he to tell us how much water we can use?

    The only real mistake here is that the (un) sustainable society instsitute was not shut down. This must be costing a fortune.

    Tide turns on restrictions as water use rises
    Stephen Cauchi February 26, 2012

    MELBOURNE residents are using about 180 litres of water a day, with water consumption climbing since restrictions were eased and prompting calls to reimpose usage bans.

    Since the government rolled back water restrictions on December 1, consumption has been gradually rising. Last summer the average usage was 140 litres per person per day, but in late January and early February this year, consumption has peaked at almost 200 litres.

    Craig Pearson, of the Sustainable Society Institute at the University of Melbourne, said the increase showed the government's decision to ease water restrictions from stage 2 to stage 1 had been a mistake.

    ''It's unfortunate that we didn't continue on stage 2 and simply enunciate that as the community norm, a satisfactory way of living,'' he said.

    Professor Pearson said an appropriate goal would be 155 litres per person per day.

    The Brumby government's Target 155 campaign was abandoned last year, with Water Minister Peter Walsh dismissing it as a ''political slogan''.

    ''You can argue whether the target should be 140 or 155 or 150, but it clearly shouldn't be 180 and rising,'' Professor Pearson said.

    He said 180 litres per day was ''frankly not sustainable''.

    ''As a big global city, we have demonstrated that we can live perfectly well with 140 litres. So why now increase another 30 per cent, 40 per cent?''

    Melbourne's water storages are at 64.2 per cent, the highest for this time of year since 1999.

    The chief executive of non-profit group Savewater Alliance, Nigel Finney, would not discuss whether Melbourne should return to stage 2 restrictions, but said people ''can live very comfortably'' on 150 litres per person per day.

    Melburnians have, however, reduced water use considerably.

    ''Compared to six, seven, eight years ago, when we were using 240 litres per person per day, there's been a permanent shift,'' he said. ''Even compared to three or four years ago, 185 is pretty low.''

    In Sydney, the average resident used 304 litres of water a day in 2010-11, down from 426 litres in 1999. In south-east Queensland, water use hovers around 160 litres per day, an increase from early February when it was 141 litres.

    Mr Finney believes many drought-era habits have stuck, despite the pattern of increasing consumption. ''People who have cut their shower time from 10 minutes to four minutes aren't going to go back to 10 just because of stage 1 [restrictions].''

    The Savewater Alliance, which is funded by water businesses such as Yarra Valley Water, has a range of programs and initiatives to reduce water use.

    Pat McCafferty, the acting chief executive of Yarra Valley Water, declined to be interviewed but in a statement said the increase was understandable given hotter and drier conditions.

    ''The number of hot days over 30 degrees has doubled from 11 last summer to 22 this summer and rainfall over summer is around a third less than the previous year,'' he said.

    Under stage 1 restrictions, gardens and lawns can be watered with a trigger-nozzle hose at any time. Cars can also be washed at home at any time. Pools of up to 2000 litres can be topped up at any time.

    Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/t...r-use-rises-20120225-1tvbt.html#ixzz1nRQ0bp1r
  2. Well, the Greenies won't let us build any more dams, so we have to make some use of the desalination plant somehow. :)
  3. Interesting. Up here in the wilds of Central Victoria we are now under "Permanent Water Saving Rules" which are a step down from Stage 1 restrictions and according to the local water supplier water usage has stayed the same as when water restrictions were in place.