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What Goes Around Comes Around: Meryl Hancock

by Meryl Hancock

With more than 85 per cent of all Australians living in cities, sustaining an urban water supply for the future remains one of our greatest challenges. A drying climate, pollution of wetlands and waterways due to urbanisation, greenhouse emissions plus an ageing infrastructure compound the issue exponentially.Meryl Hancock Article Image

The CSIRO estimates maintenance and management of our current water system costs $4.5 billion a year, irrespective of the environmental cost. Urban water supplies have typically been centralised, dam-oriented systems but the combination of rising consciousness and dwindling natural resources has put pressure on our existing infrastructure and begged the question of sustainability. The water-energy nexus, the amount of energy required in kilowatt hours to deliver one kilolitre of water into a home (kWh/kL), is a hot topic of debate.

Of the various water delivery systems, the decentralised option of rainwater harvesting and storage is the most energy-efficient, presupposing there is adequate rainfall. A 2009 combined study by the Institute 

Sustainable Futures (ISF) and the CSIRO showed the energy requirements for desalination and for recycled water to be way in excess of rainwater harvesting. The Living Greener initiative introduced by the Australian government suggests that a personal water supply will reduce dependency on transported water, reduce water bills, provide garden watering in spite of restrictions and help protect existing fresh water in our river systems. It is likely that, in the future, individually generated water and energy supplies on a home-by-home basis will be a necessity.

Hence, despite our associating rainwater tanks with isolated properties unreachable by water mains, rainwater harvesting is becoming prevalent in the urban setting. The reason differs from state to state, with some states offering rebates to tempt customers.

For the complete article in the Well Being magazine, click here (PDF) (553 Kb).

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The Waterplex Group are specialists in producing innovative solutions for storing & harvesting water without taking up all of your valuable space around the home. Waterplex are a leading provider of water tanks in Australia and we have been part of the Australian water industry for over 10 years. We have built up a reliable national network of resellers and highly experienced installers that deliver a "supply and install" solution that is second to none.

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