Group wades in on debate
BRISBANE residents campaigning for reliable and environmentally sustainable water security for south east Queensland have urged the State Government to acknowledge that there are realistic alternative ways to supply water to residents without the need for new desalination plants or modifying any existing dams.
A 2007 report titled Review of Water Supply-Demand Options for South East Queensland, prepared by water experts at the Institute for Sustainable Futures at the University of Technology, Sydney and Cardno Brisbane, found that the suite of supply and demand options – excluding Traveston dam – being implemented as part of the SEQ Regional Water Supply Strategy (SEQRWSS) are sufficient to ensure the predicted supply-demand balance until about 2030.
“There are several feasible ways of providing water security for south east Queensland. The proposals outlined in the ISF report are affordable, and they could be implemented quickly,” said Save the Mary River Brisbane group co-convenor David White.
A key part of the report’s strategy involves innovative measures to use water more efficiently in residential, commercial and industrial buildings to save 190,000ML per year.
“That is enough water for another 2.6 million people using 200 litres per person per day (Lpppd) – 25 per cent more water than we are using right now,” he said.
“And reducing the official consumption target from a wasteful 230 Lpppd down to 180 Lpppd is essential to encourage water users to continue to conserve this precious resource.”
The report urges that all new developments be equipped with the best water-saving technology. Adopting this measure alone would free up enough water for 600,000 people, it says.
Introducing stringent mandatory standards of water efficiency would save enough water for another 570,000 people.
Restoring and expanding the former state rebates for domestic water efficiency and requiring all new commercial properties to be water efficient, would save enough water for another 600,000 people.
This strategy would reduce greenhouse gas emissions in south east Queensland by 700,000 tonnes per annum.