CHAMPION COLUMN | We're in for a hot, dry winter

OUR COLUMNIST: Barry Calvert, President of WSROC.
OUR COLUMNIST: Barry Calvert, President of WSROC.

Following Australia's hottest summer on record, the Bureau of Meteorology predicts a dry winter, with higher than usual temperatures and lower rainfall.

WSROC's Turn Down the Heat Strategy showed that our region's climate is hotter and drier than other parts of greater Sydney, and with Level 1 water restrictions now in place, green spaces and gardens could find it tough.

Fortunately, Western Sydney residents are champion water-savers. In the water restrictions of 2003 to 2009, we drastically cut our household water consumption by about 30 per cent.

We now use about 200 litres of water per person per day. With the wider state in serious drought, this needs to be cut.

Fortunately, saving water doesn't mean the garden has to go. Things can be kept green and growing with some strategies to capture water otherwise washed away.

Brush your teeth with the water off, use a bucket in the shower to catch water for the garden, use drip-sprinklers.

Use compost to help garden soil stay moist, mow the lawn to a longer minimum length to protect and support underlying earth from exposure to drought, be more conscious of energy use.

Water cooling is a major part of energy manufacture and uses lots of water.

Sydney Water suggests reviewing your water bill for unlikely spikes.

You may have a leaking tap or pipe and fixing such leaks will save money for you and water for everyone.

Western Sydney councils work in different ways to ensure that green spaces are sustainable, with water-use plans and urban planning.

Councils help residents find better ways to use water. Fairfield Council has a free Water Saving Workshop on June 17.

BARRY CALVERT

President

Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils

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