What Is Your New Year's Sustainability Resolution?

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31st December 2009, 04:19pm - Views: 951
What is Your New Year's Sustainability Resolution?

Melbourne households have finished 2009 on a water conservation high, by using an average 154 litres per person per day over the past week.

But despite this encouraging result, water authorities are reminding Melburnians not to become complacent in their water conservation efforts as we head into the New Year - as this week's continuing hot weather is predicted to lead to a spike in consumption.

"In similar weather, Melbourne's average water consumption has spiked up to more than 200 litres a day - far above Target 155. To help keep our water consumption low, and as we enter the New Year with renewed intentions, what is the one water conservation or sustainability tip that you could employ to help save water over the coming months?" asks Tony Kelly, Target 155 Spokesperson and Managing Director of Yarra Valley Water.

"One of the easiest ways for gardeners to conserve water is to look to the weather forecast before watering their garden. With several days of storms and rain forecasted from this afternoon, there is absolutely no need to be out there watering your garden on account of the recent hot water.

In addition to placing your plants at risk of being over-watered Authorised Water Officers are working right through the holiday period, enforcing Stage 3a water restrictions, to ensure that people are only watering within their allocated days and times," said Mr Kelly.

To take full benefit of letting mother nature water your garden, it is important to switch off any automatic watering systems when rain is forecast. Another option for busy gardeners is to attach a low-cost moisture sensor for watering systems for an 'install and forget' approach to water conservation and garden maintenance.

"For those with self sufficient gardens - or those without a garden at all - please help us to bank water savings below Target 155 now. This is easily achieved by routinely keeping showers to less than four minutes, by turning off evaporative air conditioners when not at home and by setting them for 25C or above over summer," details Mr Kelly.

"Taking these small steps and adhering to Stage 3a water restrictions over summer is critically important - when temperatures rise, consumption soars and reservoir levels can fall relatively quickly. Stage 3a water restrictions and Target 155 are vital tools to ensure we don't deplete storages unnecessarily during summer," said Mr Kelly.

Melbourne's water storages have dipped to 37.5 per cent this week - the second lowest they have been at this time of year - 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 start delivering their full benefits to the community, the need to keep diligently saving water remains.

Under Stage 3a Water Restrictions:
* Lawns must not be watered at any time
* Even and no-numbered properties can water plants on Saturday and Tuesday 6am - 8am
* Odd-numbered properties can water plants on Sunday and Wednesday 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.

For more water saving tips and information
head to www.target155.vic.gov.au

For 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]

SOURCE: Target 155

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