Brisbane’s Water Emergency Worsens

Shortly following revelations that our Water Commission has increased its own water consumption, the same organisation today announced that it wants personal water consumption to be reduced from the current 180 litres per day to 140 litres per day.

Our personal daily water consumption at ‘Bellis’ has remained stable at about 116.66 litres since last December. 116.66 litres per person per day means 350 litres per day for the three of us. From December I stopped using any rainwater from our tank for gardening, relying on our output of recycled water.

In January we had to draw on 2,000 litres of town water to supplement our needs because we received just 67mm of rain instead of the January average of 157.7mm.

At ‘Bellis’ we have the advantage of water-efficient technology. We recycle all our waste water, have a water efficient washing machine and a 21,000 litre rainwater tank.

Without these advantages achieving the 140 litre target for others will be extremely difficult.

It seems that Brisbane has entered the time where installing water saving devices must be compulsory.

To even consider level six water restrictions without making certain water saving devices – like rainwater-fed, dual flush toilets and rainwater tanks – compulsory is pure fantasy.

To quote Jeff’s published response on level five water restrictions:

“Once again gardeners get taken to the cleaners while those with swimming pools just have to put in a few piffling flow restricters and a dual flush loo – which should be compulsory anyway – and they can top up whenever they like.

It’s interesting to realise that having a city with living things other than humans in it is less important than the private pleasures of pool owners. It’ll only take a couple of hours to refill a pool when the drought breaks, how long will it take to grow back the large trees that we will lose under these unfair and discriminatory rules?

I wonder if Liz Nosworthy (the head of our Water Commission) has a pool?”

Here’s an edited extract from ABC NEWS ON LINE, Last Update: Friday, March 9, 2007, 12:11pm (AEDT):

“Qld unveils level five water restrictions

Tough new water restrictions announced in south-east Queensland mean Brisbane is Australia’s first capital city subject to level five water restrictions.

South-east Queenslanders will be banned from washing their cars and can only water their gardens twice a week under level five restrictions unveiled today.

The Water Commission has released details of the bans. The measures are designed to save 140 megalitres of water a day, compared with level four.

Level five will begin in 12 south-east Queensland council areas from April 10.

Apart from gardening and car-washing restrictions, outdoor showers are banned and town water cannot be used to fill pools.

As well as mandatory restrictions, the commission wants to encourage residents to reduce their daily water use from 180 litres a day to 140.

It will run an education campaign with suggestions people take shorter showers.

Water prices will rise from next year from between 13 to 22 per cent, or an average increase of $71 dollars a year.

The earliest level six restrictions could take effect is September.

The State Opposition says today’s announcement is a savage blow to south-east Queensland residents and businesses”.

Liberal leader Bruce Flegg says “Our grandchildren will still be paying the price for the neglect of water infrastructure from this Government.”


Jerry Coleby-Williams
Friday, 9 March 2007


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