Water - future resource

Discussion in 'Energy' started by stevo, Sep 13, 2013.

  1. stevo

    stevo Backyard Farmer Premium Member GOLD

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    I got a water bill the other day, the old council subsidy has now finished and prices are up. The fixed service charges are supposed to be cheaper and they're saying that the new rates will be fairer as user pays, the more your use the more you pay. Which means the water prices have gone up. The water supply company say they buy the water from the state government and the bulk water price has gone up.

    I remember reading something a while ago about how water will become a major issue in the future as prices rise. There may be plenty of water in the dams but cost of supply will rise so much that it has a bigger and bugger impact on the end user.

    Water will become a bigger issue in the future and is a valuable resource in more ways than one, it will be an incredibly valuable resource for the government, because it's another thing they can sell to the people and we wont have a choice about it. The water price doesn't just pay for the infrastructure, only a small percentage pays for the pipes and pumps, they use the rest to cover their other extravagant spending.

    My water usage is well below "the average user" but I assume that their graph is blown out because there's people using an excessive amount which raises the average, (a bit like the average wage but that's for another thread one day).
    Even though my usage is well below average I think I could cut the usage in half if I had more water storage/tanks, and I think the general population should also be thinking about increasing their water storage. Even if you don't have a garden you can use it for the toilet, washing machine, washing the car, pool etc etc.

    (note: this is just one of my soapbox rants)
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2013
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  2. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    I like what you're saying - water delivery via infrastructure is getting far too expensive and probably will continue to rise and thinking about water self-sufficiency is something we should all be doing.

    However, it shouldn't be like that in a country such as ours - ordinary people should not be worrying about the rising cost of water and it's a shame on our degrading values that pensioners are showering in a bucket just so they can afford to pay the bills! Good clean drinking water is the base for a healthy society and if it starts to become too expensive we'll ave all sorts of health issues arise from people not using water or people using water from other untreated sources just to save money.

    Cheap potable water is a hallmark of a 1st world society and should not be a revenue maker, in fact, supply costs should be covered in our current rates and only be an extra charge if we go over a certain amount.

    This may seem radical but, I believe households should have a fair usage cap per quarter and not pay for water until they breach the cap. It shouldn't go on number of people per household it should be just a set cap at a reasonable amount equal for every residence whether it be 1 person or 10. Over this cap and then you get charged at a fair rate. This would enable low usage households for most retirees and single people to have free water. Savvy families with kids may also find they can stay under the cap (as an incentive).

    We have 4 (two growing kids) and our recent water bill was $165 which apparently is equal to 2 people - we must be doing something right :D I do have bore and we use that for garden irrigation etc so I guess that saves some. Still, $165 is far too much for water!

    My Sister and Brother In-law @Werner have just built a place in Toowoomba (on 3 acres) and their suburb doesn't have access to town water. Initially, I was thinking sheesh... I'm not sure I would like to be in a position where I didn't have access to town water because the first think that comes to mind is what if your water tanks run dry? However, after thinking about it and with the ongoing water price rises it may actually turn out to be cheaper overall to be self-sufficient on tank water!

    Sure, they've had to install some massive tanks and in an extreme situation where drought hits and say the tanks run dry they will have to truck water in. Nevertheless, the most likely situation will be most years when rain will be steady and the tanks will have more than enough stored water.

    Take into consideration the high water costs in and around Toowoomba; PLUS, the yearly $300 levy imposed on every home connected to town water due to a water proofing pipeline (which turned out not to be needed) and that's potentially thousands they don't have to pay because they have their own water storage. And, in an extreme case when they do have to truck water in to fill a tank it still probably wouldn't cost as much per annul as if they were connected to council supplies!

    Well that's my rant... :)
     
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  3. stevo

    stevo Backyard Farmer Premium Member GOLD

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    My bill was $275. That's for water and sewerage for three months. They explain their charge for sewerage by saying 90% of the water that enters your property is leaving your property as sewerage. I'd estimate i only send out 10% of what comes in as most of my grey water goes to the garden.

    My water bill is $102, sewerage bill is $173.

    They used to have water included in the rates in my area, which was about $1200 a year. Now they have split rates and water and looks like each bill will be the same so that's doubled the bills.

    I'd agree that if your sister and brotherlinlaw can stay off the grid they might be better off and not "locked in" to the system. I think it all depends on how much you use. In general being "off-grid" can be cheap if you have a minimalistic lifestyle. If you're an extravigant user of resources then the grid is cheaper.

    I have a friend that has 5 acres at Dayboro Qld, he's on tank water, he has 4 x 10,000 L tanks ( i think). They're not really that big when you have some land to disguise them. He's only had to truck water in once and that was with the big drought a few years ago, but apart from that they use heaps of water and never worry about it.

    I'd agree with your "fair usage cap" or some kind of allowed amount.
     
  4. Steve

    Steve Valued Member Premium Member

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    Good discussion fellers.
    I agree that we should have an allowance and that is how I remember it as a kid growing up in Adelaide.
    I remember my dad saying that we need to be conservative with water and stay under our limit otherwise it will come out of our pocket-money. Be damned if I was giving up my 50 cents a week on water!
     
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  5. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    Yep, when I was a kid in Toowoomba water charges were not even considered... how times have changed. :crazy:
     
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