Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Use tanks to address our water shortage, not new dams

Andrew Bolt’s comments about the looming shortage of water for Melbourne indicate a degree of denial and ignorance about the fact that we live on the driest continent on Earth.

The primary issues concerning our water are that we don’t have a lot of it, we use too much and we waste too much.

Building more dams would be a very expensive stop-gap measure that would not actually improve the situation much. Water taken from another catchment area (such as Eildon or the Mitchell) would be robbing country consumers such as irrigators to send the water to Melbourne, as already happens with the Thompson catchment.

Water quality and quantity can be easily improved if we stop logging our water catchments.

Domestic water consumption can be greatly reduced by using rainwater. Our house in Surrey Hills is self-sufficient for water. We only use a small quantity of Melbourne water for drinking; we use tank water for everything else.

The Government is doing a commendable job encouraging less water wastage in gardens, but they need get serious and stop the ocean outflow at Gunnamatta, which wastes water that could be reused and pollutes the ocean.

Building more dams would be a foolish, expensive and ineffective distraction from the real solutions for addressing our long-term water usage and supply needs.

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