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Water consumption off the hook as inflows hit record lows

By johnboy - 24 March 2009 126

The thing the surprises me most about Canberra’s water use is that it’s taken so very long for the public to become totally fatigued by the perpetual emergency.

It has to be a little disappointing to our Power and Water overlords to see their decree of 1 March, that we collectively lower water use to 112 megalitres per day, has been met with near complete indifference. Yesterday water use surged to 171.9 megalitres.

To make matters worse the ABC informs us that inflows are at record lows.

Dam levels, however, are still at 46% (well up from the scary lows of mid 2007) so no plans to announce new water restrictions.

What’s Your opinion?

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126 Responses to
Water consumption off the hook as inflows hit record lows
sepi 12:53 pm 24 Mar 09

Also, established plants and trees require less water than new baby plants, which need heaps.

So it is a false economy to let all the lawns and trees die, then plan to put in new ones when it eventually rains.

miz 12:34 pm 24 Mar 09

But didn’t we all use less water in spring due to the rains we got then? I think this is a beatup, and people have short memories. We STORE water for the dry times, like now. I can’t understand why this is so hard for people to understand.

Thumper 12:27 pm 24 Mar 09

Indeed ant.

And yet, do we have the right to tell developing countries that they cannot, well develop?

ant 12:08 pm 24 Mar 09

It’s that endless conundrum: human activity is held to be causing climate change, yet we charge headlong seeing population increase as vital. What are they going to drink?

grump 12:06 pm 24 Mar 09

arbitrarily saying target usage will fall from this date just becuase the calendar says it’s autumn is shortsighted, dare I say stupid. If the underlying conditions haven’t changed then patterns of usage won’t change just becasue an arbitrary diary entry says it’s autumn.

Over the past 6-10 years we’ve often gone 7 weeks or more without rain at this time of year. Summer storms as I recall were historically responsible for the bulk of Canberra’s annual rainfall – if we don’t get them then we have an “issue”!

About time the gubment (loose term for the stanhope collective) started seriously slowing development and increasing water harvesting options cos we can’t all keep using less as the population grows.

time to put the soap box back in garage…..

ant 11:26 am 24 Mar 09

The dry tendency has been going for years now. Sometimes there’ll be a wet month and people forget, but the overall picture remains grim. Groundwater is depleted and the rain we do get does little to mend that situation. The stressed trees are a result of this long, long dry.

Who remembers days of sustained, steady rain? hasn’t happened in a very long time. Storm rains are dramatic, but their effect is not as good as teh same amount falling over a longer period. If things don’t change, the city is in for some soem serious times.

Thumper 11:25 am 24 Mar 09

Where are our climate change is a myth commentariat now?

We have had major droughts in Australia before. Lots of them in fact. This one is no different.

However, you are spot on about water tanks. Surely they should be subsidised and surely they could be fast tracked?

realityskin 11:12 am 24 Mar 09

It hasn’t rained decently since just before Australia Day. That’s a long time !

sepi 11:12 am 24 Mar 09

Or just water the poor old trees we still have.

If you actually have a good look at any of the trees on our nature strips and roundabouts, they are half dead – it is very sad.

The big woden roundabout has some shockers in it.

peterh 11:09 am 24 Mar 09

was driving home from civic yesterday at 5.45, rained between scrivener dam and the parkway on cotter road. dry in kambah. this has to be looked at by the bureau of met, and actew. perhaps our catchments can be moved or the lakes used as sub catchments to bolster our water levels.

The arboretum is possibly, no, probably the best idea for changing the weather patterns, build more arboretums around canberra, or just plant more trees…

p1 11:08 am 24 Mar 09

I was driving past one of those roadside signs announcing daily water use the other day, and noticed that we are on level three water restrictions. It occured to me to wonder why this is so. Shouldn’t they do away with the concept of restriction levels, and just have a permanent policy of not wasting water?

Tempestas 11:06 am 24 Mar 09

Its a shame but not surprising, you can let your lawn become dirt and weeds, you can minimise or give up the vege patch, but when the only organic life you have is trees and the native low water once established shrubs. There is only so much you are prepared to let die. Also like Sepi said drippers for those shrubs mean we are actually watering.

A better water tank policy, less red tape (like even though my block slopes to the front I can’t put a water tank there because its “unslightly”) might go someway to help.

Where are our climate change is a myth commentariat now?

ramblingted 11:04 am 24 Mar 09

Not all that suprising given that Feb was the driest for 15 years, and March is shaping up as similar..

sepi 11:01 am 24 Mar 09

Water use may also have risen cos lots of us have finally got around to getting dripper systems that are allowed during watering time.

ant 10:53 am 24 Mar 09

The outlook for rain is pretty grim. The patterns are in a mess, troughs go over regularly without delivering a drop. If late autumn doesn’t bring soemthing substantial, then restrictions should be re-imposed.

For some time now, our most substantial rain has come with storms. That is a worrying trend, and if it continues then a lot of how we live will have to be re-thought.

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