“Storages are now back to their January 2003 levels. Maintaining the same water restrictions and consumer behaviour of the last two years would see Sydney remain well above the 30% trigger for emergency measures like desalination until at least January 2012 and probably much longer.
“With better community education and accelerated programs for installing rainwater tanks, Sydney could avoid the need for emergency measures until the end of the next decade or longer, even with population growth.
“Sydney, Blue Mountains and Illawarra consumers are being told they have to pay $1.76 billion for a water supply option that they do not need and that will damage the marine environment.
“Premier Iemma and his Water Utilities Minster Nathan Rees have dropped Sydney into this mess.
“It is time they had the courage to admit their mistake and put the desalination plant on ice.
“If the Premier allows this disaster to happen, it will be triumph of political hubris over common sense, good economics and environmental management,” Dr Kaye said.