Friday, April 03, 2009

Water, water everywhere....

Australians are using less water but their bills are rising, new figures show. Figures released today show that across Australia, the average annual amount of water supplied to urban households in the 12 months to June 30 was down 12 per cent on the previous year.

And conservation strategies, including restrictions, resulted in a 21 per cent drop in residential water use over the six years from 2002-03 to 2007-08, despite a nine per cent jump in connected properties.

But although Australians are collectively turning off their taps, urban water prices have risen steadily.

Well now, tell us something that we don’t know. Did we all think that using less would cost less? Like my electricity bill, the less I use the steadier my water bill rises. Funnily enough, I am writing this as I am online with netbank to pay my – ever increasing despite usage drop – water bill.

But it’s OK. Mr Matthews – a mouthpiece, sorry, chief executive mouthpiece for the National Water Commission – says that these increased bills are funding much needed “infrastructure”. This word – the ‘multi-function polis’ of this century – is the current government catch-all term. I mean we have to pay for desal plants that will make a night out’s piss of a difference. And when the bill comes, with your consumption down and dollar value up, why it’s an “infrastructural” increase.

Mr Matthews explains it all nicely:

"That means that we have been encouraging the diversification of supply and that does cost money.

"We've been encouraging better demand management ... the need to transition beyond restrictions to a more normal situation but never losing site of good water stewardship.

"When we've got those things happening, the chances of (bill increases) in the future will be much reduced."

What a heap of absolute bullshit. The phrases say it: “The chances of”, “when we’ve got to”. Does anyone really believe that water rates will cease rising? That they may “stabilise”? Give me a break.

Urban consumers – some of the most wasteful to be sure – will continue to be slugged whether they install tanks or use near nothing.

Yes “water service providers” in Victoria and NSW were hard hit (a 51% reduction in volumes). This happens when there is no water. Take a look at the NSW storage charts over the last two years. It is as well to remember that some of these “water service providers” buy up properties simply for their water allocations so as they can be on sold. They have a serious vested interest in profligate use – sorry – selling of water.

Ask a Mallee farmer what he pays for water as opposed to cotton farmers at the head of the Darling. Ask Cubby Station what it pays for water.

I love rice – especially Oz rice – and I like to wear cotton. Neither is sustainable in this water-poor country though I’m afraid.

We're using less water but paying more.


Blogger Kathy Farrelly said...

A blast from the past.
For me old mate Mike.

3/4/09 11:42 PM  
Blogger Father Park said...

A blast indeed.

Still have the album - Machine Head - and, of course, Made in Japan.

Ain't nobody gonna take my car we're gonna break the speed of sound....

Ohh yeah: Highway Star, Space Truckin' and the near eponymous Smoke on the Water.

Made in Japan was the live rock album. Child in Time... must go put it on...

4/4/09 1:09 PM  
Anonymous Harry Heidelberg said...

If Maralyn Shepherd left Australia, less water would be used. I see she is over on Webdiary again.

4/4/09 5:03 PM  
Blogger Caz said...

Only a few months back the water companies in Victoria were pleading to be permitted to put up prices Jacob, for the reason that the less water we dreadful consumers use, the more their revenue goes down.

Yep. They were serious.

On the other hand, ever seen what businesses pay for water Jacob? They can afford to continue to piss water away as if it was a worthless resource, they pay so little for it. Obscenely little, and the more they use the less they pay.

5/4/09 8:24 PM  
Blogger Caz said...

Does Shelpa shower excessively Harry?

I'm not familiar with her water use habits, only that she salivates and foams a lot.

5/4/09 8:25 PM  
Anonymous Jacob said...

I wonder if Transurban are still pumping a million litres of potable water into the ground to 'stabilise' the Burnley Tunnel. If so, I bet they're not paying market rates.

Mazza's back? (Again?) Well that's nice.

I fairly certainly recall she once said that, with her horrendous history of childhood trauma and abuse, no one should expect normal behaviour from her (or words something like that). I guess everyone's on notice.

5/4/09 11:08 PM  
Anonymous Jacob said...

Sorry, I should have specified... a million litres every day.

5/4/09 11:10 PM  
Blogger Caz said...

Yeah, but, but, but ... building a tunnel that stays in place isn't as easy as it looks Jacob.

5/4/09 11:47 PM  

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