Fears over water supplies this summer
Most people in NSW expect the continuing drought will result in water not being available for anything other than essential use such as drinking, a new survey reveals.
And this will lead to no water being available for our gardens, trees, parks and public spaces, with regional and rural residents fearing this the most.
A UNSW Sydney community attitudes survey found that people want better water security planning through a range of initiatives including new dams, the recycling of wastewater for drinking, expanding capacity at the Sydney desalination plant and at existing dams, and new water restrictions for homes and businesses.
The findings come amid growing public policy debate in NSW and other states about how to best secure water supply as many stored and natural water supplies continue to drop and various water restrictions have been or are being introduced in both metropolitan and regional areas.
UNSW Global Water Institute Director, Professor Greg Leslie, said a third of the NSW survey respondents said they felt stressed about domestic water supplies.
“Equality to the access to clean water for domestic use is in jeopardy, and this fact is essentially lost in the debate about water capacity including around raising the height of the Warragamba Dam wall,” he said. “These results show that people are worried about their water supplies and want action.
“Sydney is growing rapidly but our ageing water infrastructure won’t meet projected demand, let alone reliably cope with our geographical and climactic characteristics. If we don’t act soon with involvement from relevant research and knowledge agencies, as well as input from the community, we will be end up with the wrong solutions.”
Professor Leslie said a multidisciplinary approach to water supply and management is needed to rethink the management of Sydney’s current and future drinking water supply which could well run out if multiple projects and initiatives are not put in place to increase water capacity and access.
Are you worried about water supply issues where you live? Should more be done to secure water supplies?