Since climate change became a hot topic, we’ve seen the reality unfold before us all over the world. Inland regional area’s in Australia have been hit hard with drought conditions, while on the coast and hinterland we’re seeing damaging floods. Cape Town, South Africa, recently came close to announcing a day zero where the mains supply water would be turned off and major cities like London and Beijing are concerned for their water future. It wasn’t that long ago that we only thought water security was a third world problem.
What Does This Mean For You?
In a word – money! The cost of supplying mains water is affected by the drying of our traditional dam catchments and low dam levels. Desalination plants have become the norm, and we’ve seen our water rates and service charges rise with it. Damage caused by stormwater runoff is another cost that we bear, through our taxes and council rates, to cover the cost of repairs.
What Can You Do About It?
Reducing our demand for mains supply water is the obvious answer, but how do we do it? Getting a bore put in to water the garden is one option, so long as you have good access to groundwater. Harvesting rainwater has a dual benefit in that you capture the water for reuse and stop it from causing erosion. Another way to reduce stormwater erosion is to reconsider how much concrete and paving you have, so water can soak in to the ground and make its way back down to the water table.
Why Should You Care?
We hear it all the time, I’m only one person – it won’t make a difference. If this way of thinking is applied to littering for example, then we’d soon have a detrimental impact on our local environment. In reverse, as a community of individuals, by being smart about our water use, we can reduce the demand on the mains supply, slowing down the need for more costly infrastructure.
In short, we don’t want to get to a point where the water supply is so strained that our water authorities have to hike up the price to meet the demand. There are people who divert their shower water in to the garden to reuse it. Alternatively, placing buckets in the shower to catch water is also a way to save and reuse water outdoors. Grey water systems can automate the process and turning the tap off while brushing your teeth can save a huge amount of water over a year. By having a lot of people doing the little things, measurable change is possible!