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.