The Productivity Commission’s draft Urban Water Report mixes some sensible conclusions about desalination and use of recycled water in Australia with laughable points on the consumer costs of water restrictions.
The Alternative Technology Association’s water projects manager Adam Maxey said the commission was right to conclude there had been too much spending on desalination plants and not enough emphasis on the uses of recycled water.
“There have been billions of dollars spent on desalination that should have been used on alternative, smaller-scale measures that are not as energy intensive,” Mr Maxey said.
However, the commission’s descriptions of the “consumer costs of water restrictions”, including the inability of children to play under sprinklers, having to water in the dark and loss of sleep and/or leisure as a result of setting alarms to arise and water gardens in permitted time periods could only be described as laughable.
“The Productivity Commission needs a reality check. Everybody knows that water is a finite resource and most people agree with water restrictions and the reality of climate change. People accept the burdens and adapt,” Mr Maxey said.
“Greywater systems and rainwater tanks are part of long-term solutions to building sustainable communities. In 2011 there should be no need to defend them as ‘costly’ measures.”