In one of the larger results across our informal polling, RiotACT readers voted strongly for permanent water restrictions as the drought bites harder and deeper.
ICON Water has asked all locals to take care of our water supply, with news that our supplies are at 52 per cent capacity with record low inflows and no major rain in sight.
Despite the major expansion works on the Cotter Dam and assurances that the city’s supply would be safe for decades, our water supplies are dipping below 50 per cent during an exceptionally dry year. Without significant rain, it’s likely that Canberra will face water restrictions by late next year.
Across the region, Bungendore and Braidwood are both experiencing restrictions now. The Shoalhaven River is no longer flowing and Braidwood is now moving to Stage Three restrictions.
Queanbeyan Palerang Regional Council has stopped grading roads because it cannot justify the water use demands, and while Bungendore residents are currently on Stage One, there are also concerns for their supply from bores through broken rock.
While water conservation measures are a permanent fixture, we wondered whether Canberra should follow the lead of Perth, where there are permanent sprinkler bans during winter months and regulations around garden watering at all times.
Our question was: Canberrans are being urged to conserve water as the drought deepens. Should we have permanent water restrictions like Perth does?
The poll received 615 votes. Your options were Yes, even when it rains again we need to be more careful. This received 440 votes, or 72 per cent of the total.
Alternatively, you could vote No, that’s an alarmist reaction to the current situation. This option received 175 votes, or 28 per cent of the total.
This week, we’re wondering what you think about Summernats. Senior journalist Ian Bushnell wrote a polarising piece about the future of the annual event, arguing that organisers need to dump the annual burnouts orgy, adding that “the last thing they should be pushing for is a drag strip”.
Pointing to the impact of noise and fumes on residents of the Inner North, he said that other EPIC stakeholders including the Canberra Show and the National Folk Festival have seen off possible Government ideas about residential development and now the site is seen as a long-term, high-quality events precinct.
“Where does a festival with enough of a streak of hoonery left in it to view the burnouts competition as the weekend highlight fit into that future model?”, he asked.
Readers had a variety of response to this suggestion, ranging from the succinct to the unprintable.
There were references aplenty to “snowflakes”. Aiden said “Yeah ok scrap it or change the whole thing to your nan driving around in a Camry at 15 k’s an hour and give people even less of a reason to travel to Canberra”, while Russell said “Laughable….. and I don’t even attend”.
Commenters like Paulmuster were in the minority, saying “Sorry Summernatters – your pollution festival is not worth the busted-up rubber you leave in our national parks every other weekend of the year. Maybe try something less destructive to the planet, local air quality, your health and residents – those things need to be met before anybody cares about your ‘good for the economy’ armchair arguments”.
What do you think?