What do we think about roadside water usage signage?

johnboy 22 July 2008 66

One of the more striking things about moving back to Canberra is the roadside signage letting drivers know how the city as a whole is doing with keeping water usage at manageable levels.

Good community service? Or statist propaganda the Vietnamese Communists would be proud of?

And what other messages could we have with these signs? Electrical carbon footprint? Assaults in Civic overnight?

Water usage signs are...

  • Rank propaganda! (47%, 86 Votes)
  • A brilliant idea! (53%, 97 Votes)

Total Voters: 183

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66 Responses to What do we think about roadside water usage signage?
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BlackIce BlackIce 12:54 pm 22 Jul 08

ActewAGL website has the usage stats, dam levels, rainfall etc for those who are interested:

http://www.actewagl.com.au/water/facts/

PeraPHon PeraPHon 10:52 am 22 Jul 08

How many of these electronic water usage signs are there around? I know there’s one set on Barry Drive, and I think I remember seeing a set on the Parkway (I don’t go southside much). Where are the other ones? It seems to me that if ACT Gov is serious about getting the message across, then there probably needs to be more of them.

simbo simbo 5:22 am 22 Jul 08

Some people on this site really do not understand economics or pricing of things at all.

The idea that you could save the cost of road signs and build a dam with that is completely ludicrous. The signs cost probably around a hundreth or less of the cost of building a new dam or expanding an existing dam.

And hey, if you both expand the existing dams AND attempt to reduce water consumption at the same time, you might just get a better balance of resources and not just eat up all the gains you get with the new dam immediately. Seems eminently sensible to me!

Kitchen Man Kitchen Man 9:58 pm 21 Jul 08

Very sensible, practical idea those roadside signs. The general population of Canberra is a helluva lot less cynical than is the readership of this website. I think the signs have a positive effect as far as awareness and I believe that that awareness will actually change the way that many Canberrans consume water.

This is a serious long term problem and raising awareness every day is one of the problems.

Full marks to the powers that be on this one.

bd84 bd84 9:50 pm 21 Jul 08

I always enjoy a giggle driving home seeing how far above the target we were the day before.

imhotep imhotep 9:11 pm 21 Jul 08

Re: “overconsumption in the cities”

The amount of water a city like Canberra uses is negligible compared to what is used in agriculture, and any water we save in this city is little more than symbolic.

However, my point about overconsumption is that we city-dwellers expect plentiful and good quality food and clothing, at a cheap price. This requires industrialized agriculture, which almost always comes at the expense of the environment, either here or somewhere else. For some crops, like cotton and rice, this almost always includes irrigation.

If we want to live the way we do and save the environment, we will have to pay more for our food and clothing. Growing it ‘somewhere else’ doesn’t solve the problem.

.

sepi sepi 8:41 pm 21 Jul 08

yeah – save the fish…at the expense of our trees…that feed the birds.

Makes sense…if you’re a fish.

Whatsup Whatsup 8:37 pm 21 Jul 08

I like the electronic signs… they keep the water issue fresh in peoples minds.

Felix the Cat Felix the Cat 8:20 pm 21 Jul 08

And I think the electronic signs are a waste of money. The Govt would be better off spending the money on building bigger/more dams or providing a greater subsidy for water tanks.

Felix the Cat Felix the Cat 8:17 pm 21 Jul 08

cranky said :

Is the ‘overconsumption in the cities’ fairly laid at the feet of private residences/personal use?

I believe the populace in general has probably restricted their water use. Personally, no town water on the garden, and thought constantly applied to indoors use.

Water restricting shower heads, dual fush toilets and compliance with the water restrictions MUST be having a considerable impact on consumption.

If not domestic, where is it going?

Business. How much water do you think a Car Wash uses? Car Detailing? What about Dog Wash businesses or other general cleaning businesses. Plant Nurseries would use a fair bit. Then there is construction work – drive past somewhere (plenty in Gungahlin area) where they are building new roads and see the water tankers releasing thousands of litres of water just to keep the dust down.

Domestic use is SFA compared to business but if the Govt was to crack down and force all these businesses to cut down their water use then they would miss out on a shipload of revenue (from taxes and other govt charges) because the businesses would close down or lay-off staff. It is much easier to penalise domestic users and it looks like the Govt is actually doing something about he water problem.

cranky cranky 7:33 pm 21 Jul 08

If my maths are correct, it is 16 days consumption. OK, not earth shattering, but I bet the powers that be would be crowing if that amount arrived in the dams from rainfall.

johnboy johnboy 7:22 pm 21 Jul 08

Pesty said :

Thanks cranky, totally beggars belief! 40% How dare they!

It’s only a teensy little storage.

imhotep imhotep 7:21 pm 21 Jul 08

Hard to find cotton not grown under irrigation also, and incidentally, Aussie cotton is a world leader in terms of chemical use (or lack thereof).

Australia is the driest continent on earth as we are often told, but that’s because there are large sections of it which are desert. Most parts of the Murray-Darling basin have rainfall deemed sufficient for agriculture in most other areas of the planet.

China builds huge disasters like the Three Gorges Dam to supply their agriculture. We take the high moral ground in our environmental awareness, but let’s not forget that if we abondon agriculture in Australia, water from dams like that will supply our $10.00 flannies (FROM LOWES!!)

Pesty Pesty 7:20 pm 21 Jul 08

cranky said :

Pesty,
Sundays CT, page 8.

July 17, 2008 – Cotter Dam level 51.6%
July 17, 2007 – Cotter Dam level 90.4%

“….ACTEW explaining this was due to water being released for fish studies to be conducted”.

This conduct is not helpful when we are being ‘persuaded’ (think roadside signs) to save a precious commodity.

Thanks cranky, totally beggars belief! 40% How dare they!

johnboy johnboy 7:11 pm 21 Jul 08

imhotep said :

It should be pointed out though, that cotton not grown here will be substituted by cotton (and food) grown in places like China. Now there’s a real environmental disaster.

Hard to find another continent with less fresh water than Australia though.

cranky cranky 7:09 pm 21 Jul 08

Is the ‘overconsumption in the cities’ fairly laid at the feet of private residences/personal use?

I believe the populace in general has probably restricted their water use. Personally, no town water on the garden, and thought constantly applied to indoors use.

Water restricting shower heads, dual fush toilets and compliance with the water restrictions MUST be having a considerable impact on consumption.

If not domestic, where is it going?

imhotep imhotep 6:54 pm 21 Jul 08

johnboy said :

“And once the agricultural users can start paying real money for water we might see an end to environmental disasters like cotton and rice growing.”

It should be pointed out though, that cotton not grown here will be substituted by cotton (and food) grown in places like China. Now there’s a real environmental disaster.

The real problem is overconsumption in the cities. Sure, farmers can improve their game, but the rest of us will have to address our consumption levels, and the prices we pay.

cranky cranky 6:43 pm 21 Jul 08

Pesty,
Sundays CT, page 8.

July 17, 2008 – Cotter Dam level 51.6%
July 17, 2007 – Cotter Dam level 90.4%

“….ACTEW explaining this was due to water being released for fish studies to be conducted”.

This conduct is not helpful when we are being ‘persuaded’ (think roadside signs) to save a precious commodity.

johnboy johnboy 6:42 pm 21 Jul 08

We already stop massive amounts of water all the way down the system.

And once the agricultural users can start paying real money for water we might see an end to environmental disasters like cotton and rice growing.

I-filed I-filed 6:33 pm 21 Jul 08

cities’

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