Water conservation advocacy groups are calling for Australia to adopt water conservation policies that prioritize water-intensive activities.
The group of groups, including the Environmental Defenders Office and WaterAid Australia, is urging a shift from a consumption-based approach to one that includes “environmental protection”.
“The water sector is a big part of Australia’s economy and economy growth,” said WaterAid’s director of water, Matt Karp.
“If we are going to sustain our water quality, we need to ensure we protect the environment as well.”
That means conserving water and ensuring it’s safe for humans and animals.
“It means we don’t need to spend more on water conservation projects, like aquifers and dams.”
The group’s advocacy chief, Dr Andrew Brierley, said the water sector was the fastest-growing source of pollution in the country.
“The average person in Australia is consuming almost a quarter of their daily water consumption, and the average person spends about $20,000 a year on water,” he said.
“So there are big questions to be asked about whether water conservation is as effective as other measures to reduce pollution.”‘
It’s all about making sure the water’s clean’It is also important to look at the costs associated with water-use in Australia, including increased water prices, water quality impacts, and pollution impacts.
“One of the biggest challenges we face is we are trying to keep up with the demands of our growing population and the need for water,” Dr Brierly said.
Dr Brierle said it was also important that water use was targeted in order to create a water-saving climate, which in turn would lower the country’s carbon footprint.
“We need to make sure we’re doing everything we can to limit water use to a minimal level,” he told the ABC.
“As a society, we have to make choices, and we have the responsibility to be responsible stewards of our water.”
The groups want to see a focus on water efficiency and water conservation in Australia’s water sector, which is estimated to be more than half of all water used in the nation.
The groups also want a water conservation policy that prioritises water conservation, and uses the most efficient methods to conserve water.
The four groups have signed onto a letter to the Minister for Environment, Greg Hunt, calling on the government to take a closer look at water conservation.
“There are still some major questions about the effectiveness of conservation and whether water is being appropriately conserved and what should be done to make that more effective,” Dr Karp said.