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water is everywhere « Previous | |Next »
January 20, 2007

It's not often that I agree with the Business Council of Australia. In a study last September, the Business Council called water shortage "one of Australia's greatest myths". State governments are currently saying that urban water scarcity is inevitable, and that we must learn to use less water to survive, that we need to accept another summer of water restrictions, and that our future is increasing water restrictions until the rains return.

The Business Council says:

"The perceived shortages are due to artificial limits on supply to our cities and an inability to allocate water to its highest value use in rural areas. If we allocated water for environmental purposes for example, to restore river health and allowed market pricing and the laws of demand and supply to operate as they do in every other market, there would be no talk of shortages or the need to curb economic growth."

The impediments to new urban water supplies should be removed. All the competing options (recycling, desalinisation) to increase water supplies need to be seriously considered.

Well, the rains have returned. It's been raining in Adelaide these last two days--quite heavily today. So what has happened to all that storm water? Why, its all been flowing out to sea. Yet the state government is saying that we have no water so we need to be on tougher and tougher water restrictions!

The reality of course is that the Rann Government, like the other state governments, has not been investing in water infrastructure. It's public profile on the national stage is that climate change is a reality and we must address it. But it does nothing about finding alternative supplies of water for Adelaide, even though it knows that it cannot rely on the River Murray for its water supply, due to decreased flows. And it continues to insist that that its state water businesses pay dividends to state governments rather than fund increased levels of capital expenditure.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 11:56 PM | | Comments (2)
Comments

Comments

If the price of excess city water consumption was a lot steeper then all sorts of solutions would be found. Many houses could supply their entire H2O requirement with tanks as country ppl have always done.

Wbb,
restrictions are not a good way to address the demand for urban water in the long term. It's rationing. I don't understand why pricing is not used to control extra consumption by state governments.