Target 155- Only 8 Years of Water Left

Are you under 155?

Are you under 155?

I was curious to see what our water levels were the other day. According to Melbourne Water, our dams are at about 32%, roughly 4% lower than it was last year. Melbourne refuses to even consider recycling it’s water and the desalination plant in Wonthaggi won’t be operational for another few years. With an ever increasing population, and with my simple math, we only have 8 years of water before we run out. I can only imagine what the next few years will mean for us, shower with buckets on odd days, brushing teeth with bottled water?

So what are other countries doing? Well, in Mexico, apparently subtlety is not on the minds of the government. With their levels at 63%, they have decided to switch off their water for 3 days out of the week for the next few months. 63% and we are at 32%.

Well, we have target 155 which prominently always gets my attention due to a nude woman in a shower. I don’t particularly do anything to save water although I don’t leave water running. I have a washing machine, take 2 showers a day longer than 4 minutes, and water the pot plants outside. According to my assesment I received today, I am under 155 (148) which is quite suprising. For someone doing nothing, I’m under the target which makes me think that perhaps we should lower the target. As the ad says, are you under 155?

4 Comments so far

  1. notjosh on February 12th, 2009 @ 8:17 am

    I don’t mean to be rude, but how in the hell are people using 155 litres each per day?

    When the campaign came along, I had a look at one the old water bills sitting around here, and it showed the household using 156 litres/day. But that was between two of us, and we have a pretty decent sized garden (with vege patch)..

    We weren’t actively/consciously skimping on water or anything and we were around half of the target. I’m pretty sure we could go a whole lot lower if we needed to..

    So, what are other people using it on? How often do you go to the toilet? How often do you run the washing machine? Dishes? Garden? Shower? (Am I missing any major ways?)

  2. maree on February 12th, 2009 @ 9:29 am

    It’s a scary thought that we might ‘run out’ of water. Some bushfires are currently threatening to contaminate dams as well.

    I also find it hard to understand how people can use so much water. When I was living in a unit by myself up until recently I was using between 30 and 50 litres per day. That includes washing once a day (and watering veges growing on the balcony with the water caught in a bucket), washing dishes in a sink regularly, drinking water, toilet flushing, and one load of washing a week.

    Doing simple things can really add up – like hanging your towel up after a shower, so it dries and can be reused, saves on loads of washing. Also, catching the cold water that first comes out of the shower in a bucket (you can run the bath hot water tap first, until it warms up, to make it easier to catch) and hand watering plants with this water instead. If you haven’t already switched to a modern low flow shower head, you’re crazy. They offer multiple settings and you can usually get one for free by swapping your old one (see your local council or water supplier). And its very easy to stick below 4 minute showers by turning it off the tap when you’re washing your hair, and keeping shaving to an activity in front of the sink.

    If you have things growing that are very thirsty, look to replace with natives/endemic plants that survive on rainfall only. Natives can be just as colourful as other ornamentals if you look around.

    If you have a large lawn, consider reducing its size and replacing with less thirsty groundcover. In many states of Australia, simply our love of turf is a culprit for our current water shortage predicament.

    Apart from growing fruit and vegetables instead (often growing your own uses less water than the same food from a shop), or growing plants more suitable to our climate such as local species, there are drought-proof garden concepts like Xeriscaping that can keep your garden interesting without the water bills.

    I think most people would prefer taking these simple measures, rather than having tough restrictions and water allocations in the future. We’re a very dry continent – people really need to start using water more carefully to match.

  3. neil on February 12th, 2009 @ 5:55 pm

    Wow, I guess I have a lot of water saving to do or maybe it’s the other half that’s using the water.

    I reckon there’s a fair bit of water wasted with waiting for the shower to warm up. I shall test your theory out with the hand tap.

    Hanging up the towel. So there’s people out there who use a new towel every day?

  4. lea71 on February 22nd, 2009 @ 4:15 pm

    We are re-using our water we catch from the shower (before the hot comes through) in the washing machine. And then after washing the clothes that water goes onto the garden.

    I don’t know how people use 155 either. We have 4 people and 3 of us are home most of the time. We only use 245 for the household giving us just 62 litres each a day. And we don’t really do anything major. and I have trouble with the 4 minute shower thing…

    We are even trying to teach the kids that water is not something to waste.

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