The world’s fresh water supplies are almost fully exploited.Almost al, 97 per cent, of the world’s water is salt. Of the fresh water in the world, two thirds is locked up as ice and snow (the cryosphere – to you and me, kid!). Globally, three quarters of the water that is used is used by agriculture. India, China and the United States, use more fresh water than is available. The water level in those nation’s aquifers is falling as a result.The current food crisis has come about largely as a result as the shortfall in available water begins to impact on the cost of irrigation.Â
Water supplies from the Traveston Dam or desalination would be expensive, and stormwater capture was the only solution which could provide significant water for Brisbane at similar costs to current supplies.
Avoiding enviro impacts: "Urban stormwater runoff in southeast Queensland is some 500,000ML a year, and only 10 per cent of this would need to be captured each year to equal the prudent yield of the Traveston Dam," wrote Dr Peter Wylie, a researcher and consultant specialising in environmental issues, in The Courier Mail (3/11/2007, p.55). "Using stormwater has the potential to avoid the social and environmental impacts of dam-building, and leave water in the regions where it can produce millions of dollars worth of milk and vegetables … Several reports have highlighted stormwater’s potential. For example, a study by WBM Oceanics in 1999 found stormwater recycling was a viable option for Queensland and likely to be of significant environmental benefit through a reduction in pollutants going into creeks and Moreton Bay.
Speaking in the Legislative Assembly, Victoria, 9 October 2007 John Brumby, brought the House up to date on the food bowl project and related water issues.
Opposed to ceding powers over water to the commonwealth: Brumby said: "It is worth pointing out right at the outset that the Victorian government has always been opposed to ceding constitutional powers over water to the commonwealth. Had we done that, the 200 gigalitres of water recently sought by the commonwealth government to put down the river to Adelaide would already have been taken from Victorian farmers…Victorian farmers in northern Victoria would have already lost 200 gigalitres of water, which would have been taken from them with no compensation, to be held in reserve for potential use by South Australia next year.
Water leakage and loss unacceptable: "…The food bowl project is about generating savings from water which is lost through the nation’s largest irrigation system. We know that up to 800 gigalitres of water each year — about twice what Melbourne uses in a year — is lost from that system through seepage, leakage and evaporation. In a world which is growing shorter and shorter of water, that sort of leakage and that sort of loss are unacceptable
Hon Louise Pratt, (ALP, East Metropolitan) speaking in the Legislative Council of Western Australia, on Thursday 6 September 2007 said under the Energy Use in Houses Code, a new house must have a low greenhouse emitting hot water system. It could be a solar hot water system, a five-star rated gas hot water system or a high energy efficient electric heat pump.
Stage 1 limits water use: "5 Star Plus introduces stage 1 of the Water Use in Houses Code. It will apply to all new houses from this month. It provides for limiting water use through efficient three or four-star rated taps, shower and toilet fittings.
Pool blanket requirement: "The code also requires that new swimming pools be fitted with a pool blanket, which will assist heated pools to retain their heat and will prevent water evaporation.
Energy waste reductions: "It will also reduce energy waste by requiring the distance of taps from the hot water source to be limited. They are fundamental measures to improve energy efficiency; they are not revolutionary. They are simple measures to include in our building codes.
The Western Corridor recycled water pipeline would be pumping the most expensive water in Australia when it started full operation at the end of next year, wrote Tuck Thompson and Robert MacDonald in The Courier Mail (16/10/2007, p. 4).
Costing more, delivering less: The cost per litre was expected to increase as more businesses introduced water savings plans, further reducing the amount of water available for recycling. The pipeline had been initially expected to deliver 230 million litres of water a day at a cost of $1.7 billion. Now it was expected to deliver an initial 130 million litres a day for $2.4 billion.
$2 billion Australian water fund untouched; not a single drop of environmental flow has gone back into Murray: Labor questions Govt commitment Although the 500 gigalitres of water the Federal Government had committed to putting back into the Murray was only a third of what was needed, even that had not been achieved over the Continue Reading →
Queensland’s then premier, Peter Beattie, told the Queensland Legislative Assembly on 5 September 2007 that he was pleased to report to the House that a major milestone had been reached in the drought-proofing of the south-east corner of Queensland.
13 megalitres of water delivered daily: "While many said it could not be done, including the whingers opposite," Beattie said, "the Deputy Premier, the member for Bundamba and I were at the Swanbank Power Station last Monday, 27 August when the first flow of purified recycled water from the Bundamba Advanced Water Treatment Plant was delivered. And was it sweet! All the knockers and whingers said that it could not be done, and while they are still whingeing it has been done. … This stage of the water grid is currently delivering 13 megalitres of water a day to Swanbank – the equivalent to the daily drinking supply of a community approaching the size of Ipswich or Logan.