World Water Day - Everyone Can Make a Difference
Our water supplies are often taken for granted – but World Water Day ( March 22nd ) and the dry conditions are a timely reminder for all of us to be mindful of our water use and look at ways to be more water efficient.
Over the past week – Melbourne’s water storages dropped to below 55% - their lowest since 2011 just after the Millennium drought - and our Water Minister placed Victoria’s largest desalination order of 125 GL.
Melbourne Water’s Acting Executive General Manager Service Delivery Craig Dixon said overall demand for water has risen by 10.7% over the last 5 years.
‘Longer drier periods and higher temperatures as well as a population increase of 1.4 million people since 2001 have contributed to a loss of 157 billion litres or 100 MCG’s of water from our storages since the same time last year.’
‘Over the past 5 years, average streamflows ( water going into our reservoirs) have been reduced to levels only 5% higher than the Millennium drought. We are losing around 68 GL a year and without past desal input that amount would be 83 GL,’ Mr Dixon said.
It’s crucial for the community to diversify its water sources to serve the needs of Melbourne’s growing population. Melbourne Water currently supplies recycled water from its Eastern Treatment Plant and Western Treatment Plant for use in gardens, industrial process, agriculture and improving the environment.
Collecting stormwater for harvesting, more sustainable urban development through integrated water management and the use of the desalination plant all help.
Last year Melburnians used an average of 161 litres per person per day. On World Water Day the community is being urged to try to reduce that amount by about 2/3 of a bucket to 155 litres.
Yarra Valley Water Managing Director Pat McCafferty says saving water around the home does not have to be difficult.
‘Making a few simple tweaks to your water-use could save water and money on your water bill. Reducing your shower by one minute alone could save 3000 litres a year, which is fantastic,’ Mr McCafferty said.
Water is essential to our quality and way of life and every Melburnian can do their bit to reduce their water usage.
Media: Catherine Garrett 0429 219 084