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Gardeners are evil: Stanhope

By Ari - 1 December 2006 68

In his report outlining the latest attempt to bash us on the head with water restrictions, the CT’s Graham Downie includes this interesting snippet.

About 20 years ago, when Canberra’s population was roughly half the present figure, daily summer consumption was about 400ML. The average daily target for this November was 145ML.

Over the past several weeks, consumption has increased from about 152ML to 168ML.

So it seems the Canberra population has responded to water conservation measures to the extent that our current average use (including the recent “expansion”) has dropped 58% from 20 years ago – even though the population has doubled.

Yet we’re still being told we’re profligate – particularly those evil gardeners.

It seems the real failure is that complacent government has used this long-term trend to avoid having to do anything about securing additional supply and is now being blindsided by extended drought.

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Gardeners are evil: Stanhope
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Woody Mann-Caruso 12:44 pm 04 Dec 06

No need for the snark, JB – I just asked if it was true, and explained how I had read a part of a report. Thanks to Ari and shauno for the clarification on what was meant by the word “exporter”.

Ari 12:39 pm 04 Dec 06

As the Actew site notes, Googong (Queanbeyan River catchment) has been regarded as part of the ACT system since 1909, but even excluding it the ACT is still a net exporter.

shauno 12:25 pm 04 Dec 06

Or aren’t we now pumping cotter catchment water into gogong? which is in nsw

shauno 12:22 pm 04 Dec 06

I guess sonic might have ment via the catchments. As in more water originates in the ACT in the Brindys to flow in to NSW then what comes down the Murrumbidgee. Might be true to as more the 90% of the head waters is diverted now into ecumbene.

Ari 12:16 pm 04 Dec 06

From ACTEW’s own website.

“Even during periods of drought, the ACT is still a net exporter of water to NSW. Indeed that remains the case, even if the Queanbeyan and Molonglo rivers flows into the ACT were not counted as part of ACT runoff (which they have been since 1909), but as NSW inflows.”

From the same page:

“ACTEW has previously determined that additional water storages were not needed until about 2017 and planning for this need would have commenced around 2007. However, recent scientific information on climate variations, climate change and natural disaster events the bushfires of January 2003 and the worst drought in our climatic records, have required this position to be reviewed.”

johnboy 12:14 pm 04 Dec 06

You have heard of the Murrumbidgee River right?

Woody Mann-Caruso 12:05 pm 04 Dec 06

The ACT is a net exporter of water to NSW – i.e. more water leaves the ACT than enters it from NSW – Sonic said so just last week.

Is this true? The final ACT Future Water Option report says that “While no cross-border supply has occurred as yet, it is possible that Yass (population approximately 5000) could be supplied as early as 2008. There are currently no plans to supply water to other areas, however this could eventuate in the future.” I took this to mean that the ACT doesn’t supply water to NSW.

Incidentally, I recommend the reports for those who’d like an informed view from experts, so you too can roll your eyes when people say “just build another dam”. You’re never, ever going to have a gold-plated water supply in the ACT, and the cost and damage isn’t worth it anyway. You will always have periodic water restrictions, and while water tanks might help you keep a green lawn in the meantime, they’re not going to solve our long-term potable water problems, or the looming national water crisis.

Bugalugs’ and boomacat’s views are intriguing to me, and I would like to subscribe to their newsletters.

seepi 7:12 pm 03 Dec 06

Yep – tiered already. But the same initial allowace for every household, regardless of the number of occupants. And the first tier is no longer free – it is charged at the former ‘excess water’ rate i think, and the tier above that goes up a bit.

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