Posts Tagged ‘water’

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?

Another tool for minimising water waste

The majority of houses waste a great deal of water each day when people run taps waiting for them to run hot – for example in the kitchen, bathroom sink and shower. Some claim up to 10 percent or more of household water is wasted while you wait for the shower or taps to run hot.

If we look at the average water use in a Melbourne household, with an average of 200 litres per day per person during water restrictions, and an average Melbourne household having two to three people…. the water wasted waiting for taps to run hot could be 40 or 60 litres a day.

A three person Melbourne household wasting 60 litres per day this way is 22,000 litres per year.
Water usage + sewage disposal = $1.0248 / kl + $1.3392 / kl = $2.364 / kl * 22 kL = $52 per year down the drain. Also, the price of water is set to double over the next few years.

If 60 m² of your yard was gardens for growing fruit and vegetables, it would only require about 33,000 litres per year. This isn’t even taking into account grey water capture (bathroom and washing machine water) which could be 89,000 litres p.a. and/or rainwater harvesting off your roof.

Another important fact point is the greenhouse gas emissions associated with water use in Melbourne. The delivery of potable water in Melbourne means the equivalent of 0.173 tonnes of CO2 is emitted per mega litre (1 million litres). Wastewater in Melbourne is associated with the equivalent of 0.875 tonnes of CO2 emitted per megalitre.

Water wasted by running taps until they run hot is both potable and now wastewater, so the combined CO2 emissions associated with it is about 1 kg CO2 emitted per 1000 litres – all for water that was not used – the emissions were for nothing. If we look at a Melbourne household with three people, wasting 22,000 litres per year, we find that 22 kg of carbon dioxide (or if you prefer, 440 black balloons) is emitted per household each year just running taps to hot.

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