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Winter water restrictions announced

By johnboy - 1 June 2009 10

ACTEW have announced a winter water use target of 105 megalitres per day.

Set an autumnal target of 112ML we blasted away at 127ML for the last three months.

ACTEW have also realised that the population of the Canberra-Queanbeyan region has risen by 7% to 385,000 since the whole process began.

And how dry has it been? Well we’ve had just 10% of the average. In 2009 we’ve had just 5.7 gigalitres of inflows to set against 20.7 GL.

89.4 GL until we hit rock bottom.

What’s Your opinion?


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10 Responses to
Winter water restrictions announced
monomania 5:51 pm 01 Jun 09

Several people on this post seem to be confusing the problem with Canberra’s water supply with that of the Murray Darling Basin as a whole. All the recycling of water be it by using grey water or rainwater tanks, and even the reduction of in house use have no effect on the amount of water flowing in the Murrumbidgee River out of Canberra because this water is recycled back into the river anyway. It does have an effect on the demand from our water supply. Water security measures such as larger storage, more use of our catchments and the ability to abstact more water from the Murrumbidgee river have been delayed by Government inaction.

ceej1973 you must be referring to inaccurate figures or memory. The figures below give a better impression of where we stand but one needs to take into account that about 50% of Canbera’s household water is recycled while the greater percentage of coastal cities’ water flows into the sea. Canberra also has reduced it’s consumption by 20% from the figure given. The figures given below also include non domestic water users whose consumption in Canberra accounts for at least at least 35% of the total. Canberra also has a lower rainfall than many of the other cities.

Nett inflows, water supply and water use in the capital cities in 2004-05 supplied by the National Water Commission

                                                Population    Total connected properties   Water supplied per properties (kL)
Canberra
incl. Queanbeyan                        363000                                 136000                                   355
Brisbane                                        975000                                 420000                                   419
Hobart                                           188000                                   83000                                   499
Melbourne                                 3,583000                             1,533000                                   281
Darwin                                           101000                                   43000                                   799
Adelaide                                     1,095000                                492000                                   336
Sydney                                        4,228000                             1,685000                                   312
Perth                                            1,484000                                649000                                   347

canucksfan 5:15 pm 01 Jun 09

I’m all in favour of green lawns but when driving down the monaro highway southbound from the airport i sometimes look left and see the massive water usage of canturf and reconsider paving as a superior option. Fair enough the water is probably pumped straight from the molonglo but that just takes it from the lake which loses just under 50ML every dry day through evaporation(7.33mlX644 hectares- you can do the math). The NCA then has to pump this water back in. This is not a go at canturf as the demand is obviously there. just explaining where some of the 150ML might be going.
and yeah ceej people who look after there water should be able water their plants, who wants to live in a dustbowl.
I know its not for everyone but i have a bucket in the shower with me i use to water my small garden.
it all counts as who knows when we will get real rain again?

someoneincanb 5:06 pm 01 Jun 09

Restrictions are not the answer to ACT’s water problem. Another year has gone by and still no adequate solution implemented by the government. When the water runs out maybe they will start seriously thinking about it. Perhaps we should be doing our best to make sure that day is sooner rather than later?

Ceej1973 3:12 pm 01 Jun 09

andym said :

Ceej1973,
Its true that we have to maintain environmental flows from ACT dams, but just drive over Uriarra Crossing and you will see how little water is leaving the ACT.
Downstream from there you have the Lower Molonglo treatment works adding treated water back into the river. The big flows you are seeing are coming from Burrinjuck Dam, which is fed by Murrumbidgee, Goodradigbee and Yass Rivers, BUT MOSTLY from the Snowy Hydro system via the Tumut River from the Talbingo and Blowering dams.

True, and Cheers AndyM. Still, seems a bloody waste that down stream is pumping it onto gardens like there’s no tommorow!

andym 2:38 pm 01 Jun 09

Ceej1973,
Its true that we have to maintain environmental flows from ACT dams, but just drive over Uriarra Crossing and you will see how little water is leaving the ACT.
Downstream from there you have the Lower Molonglo treatment works adding treated water back into the river. The big flows you are seeing are coming from Burrinjuck Dam, which is fed by Murrumbidgee, Goodradigbee and Yass Rivers, BUT MOSTLY from the Snowy Hydro system via the Tumut River from the Talbingo and Blowering dams.

Ceej1973 12:41 pm 01 Jun 09

Further, (again I am very much so an advocate for water saving), on a recent trip down the Murrambidgee, across the Hay plains, I noted that every town along that corridor has nearly 100% lush yard/business policy. Its quite amazing to see how every yard is lush and well watered with water from the Murrumbidgee, but as soon as you reach the boundary of these towns, the paddocks are dust bowls. My point being, ACTEW is (apparently) obliged to release a particular percentage from our (ACT) dams in order to keep the rivers alive down stream, but it appears, all that additional water that could be saved in ACT dams, flows directly to towns along the Hay Plains for thier lush gardens. WTF? Sure, let some water out to keep the rivers alive, but how about some negotiations with NSW Govt. about how they are using it down stream!

Ceej1973 12:19 pm 01 Jun 09

Whilst I agree and actively involve self in water saving, I do not agree with ACTEW’s current measures to “stop the drop”. Firstly those big flash road side signs that are clearly targeted at household users, are inaccurate. The summer daily average was say around 150ML per day. On my figures for 370,000 households, thats a household consumption of around 1100 liters per home per day. Our home uses on average, include occassional garden watering, 250 litres per day. Granted, we have tanks water too for laundry and loos, but they both are water saving appliances anyway. The national average by memory is around 700 litres per household per day, and ACT is higher than National average, so too WA. So what of the other 4-500 litres that ACTEW reckon we are using, above and beyond the National &/or ACT average. Me thinks they (ACTEW) include construction, public/government buildings, parks to water (the thirsty Canberra mix rye grass that is layed in Commonwealth Park only to be ripped up 3 months later), etc etc, and try and make households feel bad about “the drop”. Granted, I do see a lot of people around watering mature plants, and neighbours who fill up a bath for the kids every night, but man, that doesnt come anywhere near the national average for 385,000 homes, littlone the ACT average. Secondly, the “dob in a neighbour for watering garden” &/or water patrols that ACTEW conduct HAS TO STOP. Its unfair, and un-lawful in my opinion. Heres a scenario. Neighbour A (myself) is extremely waterwise around the house and uses as little water inside as possible (including recyling greywater and using tank water), and in return, waters young plants, veges, pots, car once a week, maybe twice in Summer. Average daily useage, around 200-250L. Neighbour B, bathes kids in full bath every day, additional showers after sport, no recycling or tank water, washes car as well, poorly designed house whereas pipe work allows for 20 litres wastage while waiting for hot water to come thru taps each time. Neighbour B uses around 500L per day. Neighbour B has an additional few dollars added to water rates bill for excessive water usage. Neighbour A is dobbed in or caught by ACTEW for watering veges and is slapped with a $200 fine (despite other water saving measures). Question for ACTEW…how is this ethically fair and/or legally moral?

VYBerlinaV8_the_one_ 11:41 am 01 Jun 09

I think individuals are doing plenty to lessen the burden on water resources. What about business water users? What about the govt securing additional water resources? There’s a lot more to the story than just getting inidividuals to use a bit less.

Clown Killer 11:40 am 01 Jun 09

……what are you doing to lessen the burden on our water resources?

We would be on water restrictions if the ACT Government haddn’t let our catchments burn in 2003.

Vonbare 11:28 am 01 Jun 09

It amazes me that in this current climate (pun intended) we still do not recycle our water.

Between January and March 2009, the Murray River’s inflows were the lowest in 117 years, and the outlook for the next three months is also looking bleak.

Murray system inflows for the three years ending in March were 5,160 GL, or 46 per cent of the previous 11,300 GL in 1943 to 1946.

The persistence and severity of this drought, particularly over the past three years, is unprecedented.

……what are you doing to lessen the burden on our water resources?

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