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ACTEW reduces water use targets

By Kramer 1 March 2009 20

In the face of Canberra residents who have continually failed to meet recent water targets, ACTEW have announced they will reduce the daily water use target over autumn to just 112ML. Going by the last few winters, I reckon we’ll have a very dry winter and completely blow the target set by ACTEW. Maybe it’s time we got started on the Cotter dam enlargement…

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ACTEW reduces water use targets
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monomania 4:47 pm 02 Mar 09

chewy14 said :

You are a genius Monomania, ACTEW should hire you straight away.
How do you try to keep dam levels up when it doesn’t rain or you don’t stop environmental flows?
The fact is, we do have enough water in the ACT, and we could have nearly full dam levels if environmental flows weren’t required by law. But that would mean destroying the rivers and environment downstream.
And as for the fish studies, They are required by Federal environmental laws, to get the dam approved.

Thanks chewy, I reckon I could do a pretty good job on the ACTEW board. It certainly could use someone with a scientific background who objects to obfuscation and who feels that decisions should be based on evidence and programs examined for their cost effectiveness.

I wouldn’t last because ACTEW actually means the ACT dept of E lectricity and W ater and is run by political appointees, the majority being former public service bureaucrats. I doubt that any have the scientific literacy to question their technical advisers.

If no water is running in a catchment, that is the environmental flow. In droughts rivers always used to cease flowing. That’s a fact of nature not a law of man.

smokey4 4:26 pm 02 Mar 09

Josh the Melbourne target is only taken seriously by little old ladies with one cat and a dog. The rest believe it does not apply to them. All the houses around the bay still have large swimming pools full of sparkling water. The only thing you do notice is all the dead gardens. Melbourne was the garden state but that was in another century. Melbourne has options to manage water differently. Canberra has no options.

justbands 11:33 am 02 Mar 09

> drink imported bottle water

There’s nothing “good karma” about drinking imported bottled water! Bottled water is an environmental disaster. There’s still enough water coming out of the taps to drink…I’d suggest you drink it instead.

Swaggie 11:24 am 02 Mar 09

Most of us are not stupid at all Chewy

Mr Evil 10:29 am 02 Mar 09

I surprised someone ‘intelligent’ in the ACT Govt hasn’t ordered ACTEW to cut the water off to a different suburb each day at a time to help us stay under the limit.

It’s the sort of decree I could imagine coming out of the mouth of either our Minister of Red Wine or the Minister of No Responsibility.

Clown Killer 9:34 am 02 Mar 09

I’ve said it before, and I’ll no doubt say it again. It’s a fact that more than enough rain has fallen in our dam catchments over the past six years to keep our reservoirs nice and full – EXCEPT for the fact that the Stanhope Government chose to let those catchments burn in January of 2003. The regenerating forests will well and truly absorb most of what rain we get and will continue to do so for the next decade or so. Don’t hold your breath that a new dam (or a larger dam) is going to help ease constraints on water supply any time soon.

chewy14 9:25 am 02 Mar 09

Wow Swaggie,
So only being able to water your garden every second day between 7am-10am, 7pm-10pm is too difficult for Canberrans? Are we that stupid?

Swaggie 9:14 am 02 Mar 09

How Woody? By putting an end to this “a little bit here, a little bit there” methodology that Actew seem to use. Lets just make it simple with advice such as

* No watering lawns except on a Tuesday and only between 7 and 8pm

As things stand now I doubt the average guy in the street would have any idea what ‘stage’ we are at and whether he’s allowed to wash his car in a driveway with a hose a bucket or if he can do it at all. If Joe Public walks down the street now Woody and sees someone watering their lawn 9am on a Monday – does Joe Public know if they are in order to do so? Actew need to operate a KISS programme, its unnecessarily complicated at the moment.

chewy14 9:03 am 02 Mar 09

monomania said :

Who gives a f**k about the targets. All it will mean is that the community will exceed them and we will be scolded because of it.

People need to start asking a few questions of ACTEW. Have they been trying hard enough to keep dam levels up. The way they would do this is to maximise their take from the Murrumbidgee and milk the small Cotter dam to its best yield. Whats been happening out at the Cotter. More fish studies.

You are a genius Monomania, ACTEW should hire you straight away.
How do you try to keep dam levels up when it doesn’t rain or you don’t stop environmental flows?
The fact is, we do have enough water in the ACT, and we could have nearly full dam levels if environmental flows weren’t required by law. But that would mean destroying the rivers and environment downstream.
And as for the fish studies, They are required by Federal environmental laws, to get the dam approved.

chrispy 8:39 am 02 Mar 09

So how many people was the Cotter Dam originally designed to support? Generally before these dams are built there is an estimate of the cost, how long it will last and the population it will support. There is only so much efficiency you can squeeze out of the population (before the standard of living drops too far and everyone gets pissed off), after which you need to create another dam and catchment.

Woody Mann-Caruso 8:30 am 02 Mar 09

If they ever used that rare commodity ‘common sense” they could ensure targets were met

How?

Maybe it’s time we got started on the Cotter dam enlargement

To catch all the rain that doesn’t fall there? Genius.

You don’t need a ‘per person’ target to know if you’re wasting water. Any of you who says you’d reduce your usage if a target less than your current consumption was published is a liar. If you were serious about reducing consumption, you’d have already done it.

futto 10:54 pm 01 Mar 09

what the hell is up with that glass that kid is holding on the ACTEW page? That is half our daily intake right there!

monomania 10:54 pm 01 Mar 09

Who gives a f**k about the targets. All it will mean is that the community will exceed them and we will be scolded because of it.

People need to start asking a few questions of ACTEW. Have they been trying hard enough to keep dam levels up. The way they would do this is to maximise their take from the Murrumbidgee and milk the small Cotter dam to its best yield. Whats been happening out at the Cotter. More fish studies.

p996911turbo 9:06 pm 01 Mar 09

ACTEW has a table of L/person/day here http://www.actew.com.au/SaveWaterForLife/HowMuchShouldYouBeUsing/default.aspx

I believe wholeheartedly in staying below L/person/day targets. If I take short showers and avoid flushing the toilet often I want to be able to use the rest of my water for whatever I want. So next time you see my washing my car and then hosing down my driveway, just remember I’m below the 200 L/person/day ACTEW wants me to be.

54-11 7:42 pm 01 Mar 09

josh, that’s the first time I’ve heard of a per person per day target. We’re running at about 130 litres per person per day, so I guess we’re probably within an acceptable usage. But who knows?

SheepGroper 5:35 pm 01 Mar 09

I agree. I get an average Kl/day figure on my water bill, but I have no idea how that relates to the average target.

futto 5:34 pm 01 Mar 09

good point Josh. Targets should be per person for them to be useful.

I already only use the half flush, drink imported bottle water and rarely shower so my karma is good.

josh 4:36 pm 01 Mar 09

how much is that per person/household? I think having a global cap advertised to a population is quite useless. if you have something more personally meaningful, people might give a damn.

Melbourne has the “target 155” campaign at the moment, where each resident is encouraged to use 155 litres or less per day. see, I can imagine 155 litres as “80-odd milk cartons”. I can’t imagine 112ML across a couple of hundred thousand people – that’s just “a bunch of water”

Swaggie 4:12 pm 01 Mar 09

So as we have failed to meet targets they will lower the targets….yep seems like a plan. If they ever used that rare commodity ‘common sense” they could ensure targets were met but the perception is that they make restrictions unnecessarily complicated with more ‘stages’ than I can recall and then grant exemptions left right and centre to anyone who asks for one.

Spectra 3:31 pm 01 Mar 09

Not really news, nor a surprising announcement – this has been exactly the same target we’ve had over previous springs and autumns. Nothing to see here, people.

And you’ll be happy to know that the Cotter dam enlargement it still scheduled to start this year, and take three years to build, just like it has been ever since they announced they were going to do it. It’s not like they’ve been coy about the schedule on that one…

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