It’s shocking to think that in 2019 we hardly harvest any stormwater in the Sydney metropolitan area. Unfortunately, the more you look, the worse it gets. After spasmodic and half hearted attempts at introducing mandatory water tanks for every new home built, when it comes to water conservation we have not moved an inch since the 1980s.
It looks like the only time we’re being careful with water is when restrictions come into place, as they have recently.
There’s no doubt that water or the lack of it, is one of the current big issues.
There’s talk of building more dams and even more desalination plants, but unfortunately very little is said about how harvesting more stormwater could be the way of the future – as indeed it is already in other world cities.
Of course it will rain again, and rain and rain, but we should not set the bar so low.
Our aim should be to have long, long term water security and not to react when things get really grim.
It really beggars belief that after so many droughts in the twenty-first century but also in the 1980s and 1990s, nobody acted to start planning for a more secure future on water.
Two factors are at play here: extended drought periods with lower average rainfall and a booming population growth.
The fat cats in the government bureaucracies would have been aware of these two obvious factors over the past 50 years.
And what have they responded with: water restrictions when things are so dire we are staring down the barrel of empty dams.
No, I won’t blame our politicians, although they should share a little of the blame.
The fact is politicians come and go but the bureaucrats on massive salaries are there forever.
It is their job to address problems and suggest long term solutions to the ministers responsible.
On water, they have been a massive failure.
But it’s never too late, so let’s get stuck in.