The Bureau of Meteorology's (BOM) latest annual report into pricing and service regarding the nation's urban water utilities has identified some promising signs about Australia's needs. However, it has highlighted the importance of continuing to spread our supply sources to new areas. Diversifying Australia's water storage is high on the agenda for authorities, and should be considered by anyone with high usage.
The National Performance Report 2014-15: urban water utilities used information collected from 80 water utilities and local councils, as well as seven bulk water suppliers. The findings show that, despite unusually dry conditions in many parts of the country, the median annual volume of residential water supplied fell by 3 per cent across the period.
BOM Assistant Director Water Information Services Dr Ian Prosser was optimistic about the results, in particular the 13 per cent increase in the use of recycled water by medium to large utilities.
"This increase reflects the reduced availability of surface water and the need to diversify supply sources in the face of growing demand," he said. "The plateau in water use is positive for Australia."
Combatting the water crisis one step at a time
It's not just utilities that are doing their bit to fight the constant battle for water conservation, however. For one Australian, raising awareness about the issue has seen her running seven marathons across seven continents, culminating on World Water Day 2016, March 22.
Activist and athlete Mina Guli's seven-week quest took her from Spain to the United States, with locations as diverse as Australia's Simpson Desert and even Antarctica along the way.
"This is all about raising awareness of the water crisis […] to symbolise the fact that by 2030 there will be a 40 percent difference between demand for water and supply," she told Red Bull.
While running almost 1,700 kilometres is beyond the reach of most, doing your bit for the water crisis can be as simple as installing polyethylene water tanks on your property.
By Gerald Beckton