Water anomalies—are we being conned?

Stage 3a water restrictions are in place in Melbourne at the moment. This means we’re allowed to water the garden on two days per week, for two hours, from 6am to 8am, hand held hoses only, with a trigger nozzle. I’ve been watering the garden (food plants only, please note; no useless lawns or rose bushes) from the water tanks with a fine spray because the garden is on a slope and the soil is so compacted that water has to be put into it slowly. If I used the hose from the mains, much of the water would run off and be wasted.

The Powers That Be (TPTB) are telling us to try and keep our water use to 155 litres per person per day. You can’t do that if you have a garden and you water it as restrictions allow. I decided to try a little test. I read the meter and watered for 10 minutes with the pressure at a level I considered ‘normal’ for watering, then re-read the meter. 150 litres.

So, standing and watering for two hours, twice a week, I would use 150 x 6 x 2 x 2 = 3600 litres, which averages out to 514 litres per day. And that’s not including water used inside the house for drinking, cooking and washing. For our 2-person household that’s 257 per person per day, just in the garden, just to grow food. More than Target 155.

TPTB are also quoting consumption figures for Melbourne households on a daily basis and giving figures which are either at or slightly above the target 155. How do they know this? We all receive quarterly bills. Our meters are read every 3 months. Unless domestic and non-domestic supplies are on different systems (a doubling of the water delivery infrastructure which I doubt), and the daily figures for each are knowable, then the figures are being fudged and we’re being conned.

Why would they like us to think we can and are, using less? I think it’s because ultimately water rationing will come into being. Having conned us into believing that everyone can get by on 155 litres per day, that’s what we’ll be rationed to.

Say goodbye to growing food.


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