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Time to ease water restrictions

By sepi 23 October 2008 93

Water restrictions have been very tough on gardeners. And likewise on car owners who like to keep their cars looking shiny and clean.

The restrictions have been imposed on us for a long time now.

Initially most people complied willingly with restrictions, as a short term measure to get us through the drought. But years later the restrictions are quite tiresome. And our dams are now full over 50%.

Garden watering beginning at 7PM is really too late for most people. It is dark before daylight savings, and even when it is light, it is dinner time in most households.

The heat of the sun is long gone by 4PM, so perhaps restrictions could be eased to allow watering from 4PM. Car washing could also be allowed using a trigger hose. Both of these measures have just been introduced in Sydney.

Sydney gardeners have also been given a special allowance to water any new plants every day for a month after purchase. That sounds like a great idea – although hard to monitor.

New plants do need a lot more water than established plants, so it makes sense to allow people to maintain existing gardens adequately, rather than letting them die off, and then be renewed with gallons of water in the future.

It would also be nice if the government were able to maintain some of our large street trees which are dying off fast, and will cost thousands to cut down and replant. Whole blocks of trees are dying on limestone avenue.

If Canberra ever manages to form a new government, it might be a good time for them to think about some new and friendlier water restrictions.

What’s Your opinion?


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Time to ease water restrictions
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Thumper 9:58 am 28 Oct 08

Just following on from what Mael has said, it is no coincidence that the birthplaces of civilization were located next to the Nile, the Tigris and Euphrates, the Thames, the Rhine, etc, etc…

Even the Murray had a large sedentary mob of Aborigianal people living along it’s banks.

Maelinar 9:52 am 28 Oct 08

Because more and more of Canberra are being encouraged to, and actually installing rain water tanks, and harvesting water – what is the knock on effect to the environment? Is there any possibility that the water that we are now capturing, have an adverse effect to the waterways that used to be supplied by this water. Is it possible that we are causing a bigger long term problem by reducing the amount of water that our natural water way used to have?

Short answer – no.

Long answer – initially, if everybody all at once installed water tanks over the entire Canberra region there would be a knock on effect as the water tanks were filled during the next rain event, however the likelihood of this ever happening remains extreme.

What is more likely to happen, is that some people will install water tanks, and their overflow will compensate for the next series of people who are filling, in a sequential nature over a period of time.

What will then happen, is that people will use claimed water instead of water that has been treated to ensure that it is potable to humans on their gardens, returning it into the water cycle.

The key strategic thing to remember is that there is no more water, and no less water, than there was 10,000 years ago, or 100,000 years ago on the planet. The only thing that has changed is where it is located.

Sensibly, humans have ensured the location of water close to their places of residence for several thousand years now so its no great shock that we continue to want to do it.

Thumper 9:50 am 28 Oct 08

“The heat of the sun is long gone by 4PM…”

In Canberra? In summer?

Ah.. no.

justbands 9:30 am 28 Oct 08

Actually sepi, seems what you really want is tighter restrictions, not to relax them. Your complaint is that it’s gardeners & car lovers that are being hit…& that brewers, swimming pool owners & the like aren’t (although I’m sure there are retrictions on filling swimming pools in any case). So, simple solution….bring in more restrictions to cover those things.

Holden Caulfield 9:25 am 28 Oct 08

“The heat of the sun is long gone by 4PM…”

I don’t mind much of what Sepi wrote in his/her opening piece, but the quote highlighted above is simply naive when put in the context of Canberra’s summers.

During summer months Canberra’s daily maximum temps are often achieved between 3-6pm, and, with no sea breeze to cool things down in the evening, the hot temps can often linger well into the evening.

PsydFX 4:11 pm 24 Oct 08

sepi said :

Not to mention industry, builders, canturf growers, carpet cleaners etc etc
They can all do exactly as they please.

And you can be sure as hell that if someone spends a lot of money buying canturf, that they aren’t going to obey the rules that say they can’t water it once it’s laid.

sepi 12:30 pm 24 Oct 08

I understand that we need to conserve water. We’re not allowed to water lawns at all – fair enough.

But I still thnk it is a bit mean to focus on gardeners only (and car fans) for restrictions.

Swimming pools – still fine.
Brewing beer uses heaps of water – go right ahead.
Dyeing wool and clothes means washing stuff 10 times til it runs clear – feel free.

Not to mention all the people who wash every item they’ve worn once, and even towels used once. Or those who use those massive spa baths.

Not to mention industry, builders, canturf growers, carpet cleaners etc etc
They can all do exactly as they please.

The only argument that makes any sense is where someone mentioned that we need to have some restrictions to remind people to conserve water. but I’m not suggesting getting rid of restrictions, just relaxing them ever so slightly.

The dams are more full than they’ve been in over a year, yet restrictions remain unchanged.

tylersmayhem 12:23 pm 24 Oct 08

Apologies for the triple post, but I keep coming up with questions.

This is a bit of a potentially large topic (or can of worms) related to water harvesting (rain water tanks).

Because more and more of Canberra are being encouraged to, and actually installing rain water tanks, and harvesting water – what is the knock on effect to the environment? Is there any possibility that the water that we are now capturing, have an adverse effect to the waterways that used to be supplied by this water. Is it possible that we are causing a bigger long term problem by reducing the amount of water that our natural water way used to have?

I hope this makes sense, and since I am scientifically challenged, it could be a dopey question.

Cheers

tylersmayhem 12:07 pm 24 Oct 08

(the current defacto allocation of approx 500l per day per house is a blunt instrument – check your current bill as it’s what has been introduced this financial year)

Do ACTEW measure this by averaging the amount of water used over the billing period. I assume this would have to be the case as they don’t have a way to record daily usage in most ACT properties, and I haven’t seen a water reading guy coming around each day 😐

tylersmayhem 12:04 pm 24 Oct 08

radonezh you obviously know your topic, but again I say, its OK until it goes wrong. imagine, just one system faliure and contaminated water got through, all the fresh water pipes down-line from the plant would be contaminated. A few bugs are dare I say it “good for us” but to my mind there is a world of difference between some naturally occuring bugs in the dams compared to treating raw sewage. don’t forget, its not just shit we are dealing with, think of all the chemicals, hospital and industrial waste too that goes down the gurgler.

In relation to this post, I’d say the likelihood of this happening, is about the same as a nuclear power station having a meltdown. While technically possible – quite unlikely due to the monitoring and technology systems used in these expensive plants. I’m sure if one part of the system failed, there would be a failsafe or shut off to ensure poo and wee doesn’t flow out your taps at home.

peterh 9:32 am 24 Oct 08

fabforty said :

Can anyone tell me how some of those car washes that advertise “we recycle our water” actually do that ? It seems to me that all the muddy water (I don’t wash my car often) just runs away.

Am I being duped ?

nope. they have a series of filters that catch the grit and dirt from the water, it comes out clear and “clean” but the smell gets worse over time, if they have neglected their filters….

many operations are running a filtration system, others rely on water in a series of tanks that allow sediment to settle, prior to the clean water being pumped out to blast your car. Detailers are now recycling their water as well.

justbands 9:06 am 24 Oct 08

sepi, I haven’t read the comments here yet..so apologies if I’m going over old ground.

Are you serious? Can’t wash your car? Can’t water until after 7? You’re kidding right? Get over it. Our water wasting days are long over, get used to it. I seriously cannot believe that anyone could whinge about not being able to water until after 7pm! Oh no. Truly amazed. I guess you enjoy 30 minute showers too?

Aurelius 11:24 pm 23 Oct 08

I am amazed at those in the city who cry so loudly about water restrictions. Try having to harvest your own water, and if it aint in your tank, you can’t faff around with debates about whether it gets used on the car or the garden.
The water ACTEW provide is potable, drinking-quality water. To use it to water your roses or clean the new Commodore is ridiculously stupid. If you want to wash your Commodore and government restrictions prevent it, get a water tank, harvest your own and do what you like with it. It’s not rocket science.

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