My first daughter – the one with baby Joe – and her husband will need to extend their home now they are expecting TWINS.
They have had the architect around and according to the plans, they will be required by the Council to install a water tank (in wet Sydney) because the ratio of permeable to non-permeable land will fall below the magic figure. Que? The less lawn you have, the more likely you will be required to have a water tank.
Coming from Adelaide, she has a natural aversion to water tanks. The water is smelly and brackish, the tank attracts mosquitoes and their value to watering the garden (which is not an issue in Sydney) is very dubious.
These sorts of costly and ridiculous impositions are really subsidies to suppliers – in this case, water tank producers – and are based on the flimsiest of rationales. In this case, the rationale doesn’t even make sense because someone seems to have misunderstood ratios.
Update: According to the Productivity Commission’s report on urban water, research on government water savings programs shows the following:
In 2005, Crase and Dollery examined subsidies paid in Melbourne to households for water-saving investments. They found that the cost per megalitre of water saved
ranged from $770 for AAA shower roses, to $9069 for rainwater tanks and $33 395 for AAA dishwashers. This compares with a supply price for water between $750 and
$1300 per megalitre at the time of the study.
In other words, insisting on rainwater tanks, at least as a method of saving water, is just crazy.