Water restrictions at work

While in some of the northern parts of Australia they’ve had much welcome rain recently, floods in fact, down in the southern part of the continent it’s still terribly, terribly dry and hot. We’re in the middle of an autumn heatwave; the likes of which hasn’t been seen since records began.

I’ve got a block of land out in the scrub and the average rainfall for February is around 20mm. This year, we had 2mm. I haven’t had the block for long, but according to those familiar with the area, the dam on my chunk of dirt has been dry for 2 years – and it’s at least 15 feet deep.

There’s something sobering about looking at the bottom of largish catchment and all there is to see is dust and the remains of animals who have used the last of their energy in the futile hope of finding water there.

Australians have a notorious reputation for water consumption – one we shouldn’t be proud of given this is the planet’s driest continent; but it is encouraging to see that government imposed water restrictions and water awareness campaigns appear to be working.

We’re currently on Level 3 restrictions in South Australia which means that sprinklers are banned totally and watering with drippers and hand-held hoses fitted with a trigger nozzle is only allowed a few hours one day a week. I’m thinking that perhaps we need to be on these restrictions permanently.

Here’s how we’re doing according to SA water

The red line is the target consumption level, the blue line is actual consumption. That’s pretty good going I guess; but we’re going to be in a whole world of hurt if we don’t get some decent rain soon. Adelaide today broke the Australian capital city record for the number of consecutive days of 35C temperatures or higher – and we likely have another 5 days of the same. So much for Autumn.

Something I learned through being on my blocks is the amount of water I waste. I use more water in a day here in suburbia than I do in an entire week while out in the scrub. When I’m “roughing it”, I only use about 15 litres (under 4 gallons) of water a day maximum during the summer. That’s drinking, cooking, washing up and showering. I use more than that just flushing the darned toilet each day in suburbia.


Blackwater recycling systems
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