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Research – Report released that states rainwater tanks are more effective than dams or desalination plants

Posted in Research by Ferne Edwards on April 17th, 2007

A study released by the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) yesterday, 16 April, states that urban water tanks are more cost-effective solutions than dams or desalination plants. The report commissioned by the ACF, Environment Victoria and the Nature Conservation Council of NSW, conducted by economists Marsden Jacobs Associates, found that:

"Rainwater tanks are five times more energy efficient than desalination plants and twice as energy efficient as the proposed Traveston dam, per megalitre of water produced.

If governments deployed rainwater tanks to 5 per cent of households each year in Sydney and South-East Queensland, dams and desalination plants planned for 2010 could be delayed past 2026 (Sydney) and 2019 (SEQ)." (ACF on-line, 16/4/2007)

Rainwater tanks are few and far between in our urban centres. Kate Noble, water campaigner for ACF states that, “While 38 per cent of households in Adelaide have rainwater tanks, fewer than 6 per cent of the houses in Melbourne, Sydney, South-East Queensland and Perth do”.

Rainwater tanks prevent water waste by capturing rainwater that would normally flow out to sea, while also allowing residents to  avoid using drinking-quality water to flush toilets or water the garden.

Residents in Melbourne interested in acquiring a tank have many choices for the urban backyard, with the styles of tanks ranging from the traditional, to the short-on-space, underground or even as a garden feature. Furthermore, the Victorian Government offers rebates of up to $1000 on the purchase and installation of a large rainwater tank.

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