Today’s SMH has an article comparing the water that has been saved from water restrictions in Sydney (78 billion litres pa) with the amount that would be available from a de-salination plant (45 billion litres pa), or the new miracle cure, groundwater (30 billion litres for three years).
While you can’t get a new 78 billion litres pa as easily as the first 78 billion, it does show that the simple measures are often the best. If Sydney-siders were seriously encouraged with the simple things that could save water inside the house (dual flush toilets, low flow showers), I imagine there would be more savings available.
Instead, the government seems to have decided that groundwater (renewable every thousand years or so) is the solution. On current projections, it will tide us over to 2015, so that’s OK then. I’m sure most current NSW ministers expect to be living in Sydney then. It’s less than 10 years away! Don’t they have any thought for the future? Instead, the Utilities Minister, Carl Scully, said this week he would consider easing water restrictions from level 3 to level 2 if dam levels reached 50 per cent of their capacity.