Storms Won't Save Us Next Week - Water Use Predicted To Surge To 200 Li

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7th January 2010, 10:09pm - Views: 592
Stay Cool And Save Water When The Heat Is On

This week Melbourne's water consumption was dampened by New Year's Eve storms, celebrations and holidays, with Melburnians using just 92 litres per person on New Year's Day. The lowest daily consumption figure for more than two years, this low water use over the New Year helped us to achieve a weekly average 138 litres per person per day.

But water authorities warn the New Year respite for our reservoirs will be short lived, with water consumption expected to surge past with the return of hot dry weather this weekend.

"During similar periods of hot weather we have seen water use swell to more than 200 litres a day. This consumption is impacts the health of our supplies, and last year, took us many months to recover from. To help protect our gardens and ourselves, and to be responsible with our water use, preparation is the key," states Tony Kelly, Target 155 Spokesperson and Managing Director of Yarra Valley Water.

"Gardening experts advise us to water deeply with grey or tank water the day before hot weather and to avoid fertilisers, favouring sea weed solutions to protect plants. To help your garden cope with heat, move pots into shadier areas or erect some simple temporary shade over delicate plants," advised Mr Kelly.

Top of the list for the most damaging hot weather habit is watering your garden during daytime hours. It is ineffective as the majority evaporates, risks burning plants and 'trains' them to develop shallow root systems, reducing their ability to deal with heat and impacting their overall health. Furthermore, people watering with mains water outside of their allocated times risk being fined by Authorised Water Officers who are actively enforcing Stage 3a water restrictions across Melbourne.

"As we head back into 35C plus weather, we need to focus on keeping cool, and safe, without forgetting our water wise habits. In addition to setting air conditioners to 24C and above, try the following tips to beat the heat," said Mr Kelly.

Water Wise Tips To Help You Beat the Heat:
* Take a 1 minute power shower - then recycle a bucket of that water to give it an extra boost
* Consider using just a fan overnight - evaporative air conditioners can use 155 litres in just a few hours
* Keep well hydrated, wear loose natural-fibre clothing and stay out of the sun during the heat of the day
* Keep internal and external blinds closed to keep your home cooler for longer
* Provide pets with ample shade, water, ice blocks or freeze a bone in water for a cooling treat
* Retreat to the cool of art galleries, libraries, shopping centres, cinemas
* Visit elderly relatives and neighbours to ensure they're coping with the heat

Melbourne's water storages have declined slightly from last week - confirming the need to create drought-resistant water sources. Work is currently underway to build Australia's largest desalination plant, to upgrade irrigation channels and to expand the water grid. But until these projects are delivering their full benefits to the community, the need to keep diligently saving water remains.

For more water saving tips and information go
to www.target155.vic.gov.au
Media Enquires:
Caroline Doherty,
Media Manager - T155
T: (03) 9872 2473
M:0421 465 274
[email protected]

Rainfall Storages and Rainfall Data
Nick McGay,
Melbourne Water
T: (03) 9235 2278
M: 0438 981 836

[email protected]

Under Stage 3a Water Restrictions:
* Lawns must not be watered at any time
* Even and no-numbered properties can water plants on Sat & Tues 6am - 8am
* Odd-numbered properties can water plants on Sun & Wed 6am - 8am
* Residents aged 70+ can water plants on their specified days between
* 6am - 8am OR the alternate time of 8am - 10am
* Automatic dripper systems can be used to water plants on specified watering days between midnight - 2am
* Rain/ grey water can be used at any time
* Cars can be washed at commercial car washes or at home using rain/ grey water
* No watering is permitted on Monday, Thursday and Friday.

SOURCE: Target 155
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