With a return to hotter, drier weather on the radar, MidCoast Council is taking the opportunity to remind people how precious water is this World Water Day.
Council’s Director of Infrastructure and Engineering Services, Rob Scott, said after enduring more than two years of above average rainfall on the MidCoast, it was easy to forget there wasn’t an endless supply of freshwater in the world.
“Most people know that a large proportion of the earth is covered by water, but fewer people are aware how little of this water is fresh,” said Mr Scott.
“Freshwater makes up just three per cent of all the water on earth, and of that, less than one per cent is actually available for drinking, with the rest stored in glaciers or deep underground.
“It’s quite a startling figure, and when you consider that the global population is growing and climate change is making our rainfall patterns less predictable, it really reinforces the message that we need to be as efficient as we can with the water we have.
“Water efficiency starts in the home and it can be as simple as forming some positive daily habits like turning off the tap while brushing your teeth, taking shorter showers, only using the full flush on your toilet when necessary and only turning on the washing machine when you have a full load.”
The Bureau of Meteorology’s long-range forecast predicts that Australia’s east coast is likely to experience below average rainfall from April to June, with the possibility of an El Nino developing. El Ninos are historically associated with reduced rain and increased temperatures, particularly throughout winter and spring.
Mr Scott said the MidCoast’s water supplies were already vulnerable to the impacts of drought, but with the development of Council’s latest long-term water strategy, Our Water Our Future 2050, there was the opportunity to change things for the better.
He encouraged all residents to provide input into the future of the region’s water at https://haveyoursay.midcoast.nsw.gov.au/our-water-our-future
“We’re asking the community some really important questions about water right now, like do we build a dam or a desalination plant to increase the amount of water we can supply? How much are people willing to pay to have greater water security? And would they consider drinking purified recycled water in the future?”
Council staff will be out talking to the community about the strategy over the next month, with stalls at the Nabiac, Tuncurry and Old Bar markets this weekend.
Held every year on 22 March, World Water Day aims to highlight the importance of freshwater and raise awareness of the 2 billion people across the globe currently living without access to safe water.