Saving water in a growing Melbourne
Melbourne’s population has grown almost 25% over the last ten years, making it the fastest growing capital city in Australia. This rapid growth begs the question, “Will Melbourne have enough water to sustain itself if this rate of growth continues for another 10 years?”
To answer this question, we need to reflect on the fact that water storages haven’t been upgraded or improved in the last decade and there are no prospects for new dams in the foreseeable future. Even with the Wonthaggi Desalination Plant running at full throttle, it is debatable if it will be able to provide the water required to sustain Melbourne in the year 2030. Chennai recently became the latest major city to run out of water.
Providing enough water to sustain greater Melbourne is the Government’s responsibility, but as individuals and families we too can play our part to manage this valuable resource.
On the domestic front, two-minute showers have been spoken about a lot, but it is worth considering some other methods that can save significant amounts of water.
Smart Gardening Choices
A lush green garden is the goal of many avid gardeners in Melbourne. However, in today’s climate we need to think how to achieve this goal in an intelligent, non-wasteful way. Some ideas include:
- Choosing drought tolerant plants and lawns that require a lot less water especially through summer
- Applying mulch to garden beds – sugar cane or pea straw are great choices
- Cutting grass higher to save water
- Installing water efficient spray and drip irrigation systems to your gardens
There are some great irrigation products out there from manufacturers like Rain Bird, Hunter and Toro which can reduce the water used in your garden by up to 60%.
Rain Water Tanks
Installing a water harvesting system with a rain water tank is a popular way to save water in Australia. Tanks come in many shapes and sizes. Available tanks include 450 litre slim line tanks designed for the average garden space, and even under-decking tanks for super-efficient use of limited space.
Many dwellings can have rain water tanks installed with a pump and filter to supply water to the household toilets. When you consider that toilets can use approximately 20% of the annual household water supply this is one way to make a big impact.
Rain water can also be used for washing cars and watering gardens. These two jobs alone use an estimated 25% of household water.
In summary installing a water tank can save up to 50% off your quarterly water bill and, with a good pump system, pay for itself in as little as 3 or 4 years.
As Melbourne heads towards 2030 we urge everyone to think about how they use our valuable resource and consider these water saving methods that also make great financial sense.