The Bureau of Metrology (BOM) has confirmed that 2015 was the driest year on average for Australia – but what does this mean for water utilities?
Utilities charge more
Regarding what Australian water utilities have spent recently, between 2014 to 2015 water supply and sewage services fell 4 per cent to $3.022 billion. Matching this decrease, the median residential bill for water and sewage has risen by 4 per cent, from $1,255 in 2013–14 to $1,299 in 2014–15.
Queensland still in drought
As detailed in the BOM's Annual Climate Statement 2015, rainfall overall was down, yet some areas were a lot drier than others. A long-term drought continued in Queensland throughout 2015 and has carried on into 2016.
The Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries Leanne Donaldson told the Brisbane Times that it had been a dismal rainy season.
"Queensland's total drought-declared area is now 83.9 per cent, down slightly from the record high of 86.11 per cent," Ms Donaldson said.
High temperatures and little rainfall
Along with low rainfall, parts of Australia are also experiencing one of the ten hottest years on record, with the warmest states being Queensland, Western Australia, Victoria, South Australia, Queensland and New South Wales.
Nationally-averaged rainfall fell 5 per cent at 443.7 millimetres below the yearly average. To put this in perspective, between 1961–1990 the average was 465.2 millimetres, yearly.
Water tanks offer a solution
With rainfall down, and utility companies charging more for water, now is the best time to invest in a water tank that will be able to withstand the harsh Australian sun, as well as help ease the strain on water resources.
Alkatuff water tanks have more than twice the UV protection specified in the Australian Standard for polyethylene (poly) tanks. Poly water tanks are made from polyethylene, which is a sturdy and recyclable plastic. Get in touch today to find out where your local Alkatuff water tank stockists are located.
By Gerald Beckton