Harvesting new water ideas

Drinking rainwater that is harvested from rooftops is not a new concept and one that those in the country and not connected to the water grid embrace as a fact of life, but it’s something that could be introduced to capital cities in Australia.

Melbourne is one city looking at this and other ideas to conserve our most precious resource- water.

The Living Melbourne, Living Victoria report authored by former Sustainability Victoria chairman Mike Waller recommended expanding competition among government-owned water businesses and creating a water trading market, licensing private providers to offer not-for-drinking recycled and stormwater to the home and even paying a premium on water bills to avoid restrictions.

These recommendations were made as alternatives to spending billions of dollars on infrastructure projects including a desalination plant, a north-south pipeline or the Thomson Dam.

A recommendation that all states and cities would do well to adopt is that new estates could produce more drinking water with new homes capturing water off their rooftops to be piped back to water storages, avoiding costly connections to the traditional water grid.

The longterm benefits of these ecologically sustainable recommendations would mean new communities would be more self-sufficient when it comes to their water usage and recycling resulting in more savings for the environment and in monetary terms.


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