Never Too Late to Install a Rainwater Tank

Calls for rainwater harvesting to be reconsidered in Queensland.

The peak industry body for the irrigation sector in Australia says it is time to revisit the issue of rainwater harvesting on existing and new dwellings and commercial properties.

Three years ago, Throsby installed a 750 liter tank, as pictured. The full installation cost $1000 including concrete, but excluding labour.

Throsby’s tank supplies drinking water, overflows to ponds and greenhouse beds, and provides immense satisfaction even if doing nothing.

The decision was one of choice. An alternative supply in times of need, if not for the sheer pleasure of capturing once of nature’s free bounties.

The tank supplies our drinking water – distilled by solar – and the overflow feeds two nearby ponds (built nearby, not shown in this early photo).

Considering how easy and desirable this simple installation was, it’s astounding to read this:

Irrigation Australia CEO Bryan Ward said in 2012 the Queensland Government removed the Queensland Development Code requirement for rainwater tanks on new buildings from most local government areas.”

All dwellings in Queensland should feature a rainwater harvesting system and water efficient appliances to achieve water saving targets that will assist to drought proof the state, according to Irrigation Australia.

Had that requirement remained in place rainwater harvesting and water efficient appliances would have provided an additional 20 billion litres per annum that would not needed to have been supplied from the water grid’ Mr Ward said.

Mr Ward said industry and governments at all levels needed to work closely to provide solutions for the efficient use of water.

Rainwater harvesting should be near the top of the list,” he said. “There is a substantial body of work that supports rainwater harvesting.

It will improve the health of the waterways, provide local communities with more sources of local water and provide greater resilience when faced with natural disasters when power and water supplies are usually the first impacted.”

Irrigation Australia and its business unit the Rainwater Harvesting Australia Committee is seeking to convene a workshop with the Queensland Government and other stakeholders. This meeting can bring together the policy makers and experts to discuss a way forward.

Mr Ward said he had written to Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk seeking her support for such a forum and to encourage the participation of relevant industry departments and officials.

Given the decline in water storages and pending water restrictions “We are keen for the meeting to occur before Christmas this year,” he said.

One of the key objectives would be the preparation of a report that government and industry could use to evaluate the option of a rainwater harvesting strategy.”