Environmental News Archive

An almost weekly update of environmental news, particularly marine updates, with occasional splatters of transportation, indigenous, ideas of sustainability and sustainable development from around the world.


The Long Shadow Of Australia's Dry Spell

Feb 15 2007 (TODAY)

Govt imposes limits such as specific days for watering plants, ways to
wash cars

CANBERRA - Major cities in Australia have introduced various limits on the
use of water as the country - in its sixth year of drought - struggles to
cope with water shortages, Reuters reported.

Households currently account for only 9 per cent of Australia's total
water consumption except for Darwin, which is experiencing high rainfall

Over the past five years, all other Australian major cities have imposed
restrictions on the use of water. Across the nation, the Australian
government wants to reduce water consumption by between 20 and 35 per cent
from 2001 to 2030. New South Wales' Goulburn, which is Australia's oldest
inland city, has limited household water consumption to 150 litres per
person a day.

In Sydney, residents can only water their gardens at specific times on
Wednesdays and Sundays.

Using hoses to wash cars was banned in 2003, angering some who said
washing cars using buckets wasted more water.

Authorities in the capital of Canberra have ruled that cars can only be
cleaned at commercial car washes that recycle their water.

The use of sprinklers for water lawns has been banned in Adelaide,
Brisbane and Perth, while officials have been seen patrolling the suburbs
of Melbourne, issuing fines to people who waste water.

Even Australia's national Parliament has implemented several
water-conserving measures, such as setting the air-conditioners to a
temperature 2°C higher.

Despite the inconveniences for households, the water restrictions have
boosted some of Australia's businesses.

Hardware stores reported higher sales of buckets, while suppliers of
rainwater tanks are struggling to cope with demand, with delays of up to
eight weeks on filling orders. Landscape gardeners are also benefiting
from more households wanting to reconfigure their gardens' water-saving
irrigation systems.

The Australian public has appeared to support these water saving measures.

A report commissioned by the national government late last year found that
household water consumption had declined by more than 13 per cent in all
major cities from 2001 to 2005.