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Brisbane Blows Out Budget For Raintanks

I often wonder when councils are going to get it, we need more water, and we want to have some control over the sourcing of it.

Gardeners rush for rebate | The Courier-Mail:

THE Brisbane City Council water rebate budget is set to blow out by $10 million as residents rush to install rainwater tanks. The surge in tank sales is being blamed on tough level 3 water restrictions banning residents from using hoses to water gardens.

Brisbane City Council budgeted $5 million for rebates…

Under the scheme, residents get $500 for rainwater tanks up to 3000 litres, $750 for rainwater tanks up to 5000 litres and extra payouts if they are connected to a plumbing system.

A 3000 litre rainwater tank doesn’t give you much storage compared to summer garden usage in a climate like Brisbane. 4000-6000 litres would probably give the average Brisbane house some security of supply for a garden and some internal use like toilet flushing.

Level 3 restrictions are in place permanently for the moment, and there is little hope for these restrictions to be lifted in the foreseeable future with dam levels at their lowest recorded levels, and rainfall almost non-existent in the catchments due to the continuing drought. People are looking for options.

It’s great that the Lord Mayor has promised the rebate for all who want to install tanks, but at a current average payout of just under $700 per fixture over 10,500 houses, there’s a lot of houses left in Brisbane! Maybe they should have done some better surveys prior to setting a budget or finalising the rebate amount. This leads me back to my previous post on Stormwater Harvesting in New South Wales, when will the government realise that the existing water supply network is not sustainable in its top-down approach, and we need to start thinking about sustainable supply and reuse from a bottom-up perspective.

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Mike Thomas

Mike Thomas P.Eng. ENV SP, is the author of UrbanWorkbench.com and Director of Engineering at the City of Revelstoke in the Interior of British Columbia, Canada. If I post something here that you find helpful as you navigate the world of engineering, planning and building communities, that’s wonderful. But when push comes to shove: This is my personal blog. The views expressed on these pages are mine alone and not those of my employer.