Concerns About Water Situation Increasing In Brisbane

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17th December 2009, 09:01am - Views: 734

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17 December 2009

Concerns about water situation increasing in Brisbane

The percentage of Brisbane residents who feel the water situation is extremely serious has more

than doubled since last year, going from 14% to 32%. This is one of the major findings in a

Newspoll just conducted for the Smart Approved WaterMark.

Meanwhile 81%, or an estimated 1.2 million adults, think water restrictions are about right – the

highest of any city. 

The Newspoll was conducted for the Smart Approved Water Mark, Australia’s water saving symbol

for products and services around the home and garden. A representative sample of 702 adults

aged 18+ were interviewed in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth.

The CEO of the Smart WaterMark, Mr Julian Gray, says the survey results are encouraging and

generally positive when compared with the past four years’ surveys and the fact that most cities

have experienced reasonable rainfalls through winter and spring.

“Even though the ‘extremely serious’ and ‘very serious’ concerns over the water situation combined

have dropped from over 80% in 2006 to around 60% in 2009, more than 90% of respondents

surveyed still think the situation is at least somewhat serious .

“This is good news and shows that issues such as the ongoing drought in many parts of the country

and the water conservation campaigns conducted by water utilities are maintaining a level of

concern about water use in our cities.”

Other results from the survey showed that the proportion of people using grey water in Brisbane

(57%) has also increased significantly – up from 42% in 2008.


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Nearly everyone in Brisbane surveyed is aware of rebate schemes - 98% compared with the

average across the five capital cities of 90%.

Across all cities, people aged 50+ are the most likely to use water saving products with nine in 10

(92%) in this age group using at least one kind of water saving device around their home. In

particular, they were more likely to use soil wetting agents or mulch (68%) and trigger nozzles on

their hoses (73%) than those in younger age groups.

For 18-34 year olds, while they are not as seriously concerned as other age groups - 22% think the

situation is extremely serious compared with 30% of those aged 35+ - still over 90% see the

situation remaining at least somewhat serious.

Results from other cities showed:


The percentage of people who think that the water situation is extremely serious is 18%,

below the capital city average of 27%.

About one in four people (24%) still feel that water restrictions are not restrictive enough. 

Sydney residents surveyed trailed those in other capital cities in the uptake of a number of

water saving measures questioned – 20% for rainwater tanks (versus 30% average across

all the 5 main capital cities), 50% use soil wetting agents or mulches (61%av), 15% use

irrigation systems (25%av) and 27% use grey water (44%av).


Residents appear to be saving more water around the home with the proportion using

rainwater tanks (37%), soil wetting agents/mulch (61%), trigger nozzles (69%) and grey

water (66%) all increasing significantly in this survey.

In 2006 only 20% said they were using rainwater tanks – the figure is nearly double that this

year at 37%.

26% think water restrictions are not restrictive enough. 


Residents appear to be leading the way in the use of several water saving measures

around the home – rainwater tanks (46%), trigger nozzles (78%), and waterless car cleaners

(18%), and second for soil wetting agents or mulches (74%).  

Only 10% of those surveyed said water restrictions are not restrictive enough, whereas 22%

is the average across all five capitals. 

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However 16% think Adelaide’s water restrictions are too much – compared with the city

average of 6%. 


One in 10 Perth residents surveyed say that the water situation is not serious

Water saving practices in home gardens have been strongly adopted with 80% using soil

wetting agents or mulches and 76% using irrigation systems for efficient watering, with the

latter well ahead of the average across the five capital cities of 25%.

However rainwater tanks are only used by 12% of people, compared with the capital city

average of 30%.

The Smart WaterMark scheme has conducted the Newspoll each year for four years since it was

launched to the public.  More information on Smart WaterMark can be found on its consumer

For more information:  

Mr Julian Gray, phone (02) 9223 3322 or 0407 406 973

Smart Approved WaterMark is Australia's water saving labelling program for products and services

which are helping to reduce outdoor water use. The Smart WaterMark is run by the Water Services

Association of Australia, Irrigation Australia, the Nursery and Garden Industry Australia and the

Australian Water Association with funding from the Australian Government's Water Smart Australia

programme through the Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts.

Released for Smart Approved WaterMark by GREEN PR, contact Neville Sloss, ph 0414 562 010

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