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Stormwater harvesting a viable alternative to Traveston

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The Queensland Government's proposed alternative to the Traveston Crossing Dam, more desalination plants, overlooks a cost effective and environmentally positive alternative: Stormwater Harvesting.

A recent study by the Queensland Water Commission found that for many urban development scenarios, stormwater harvesting can cost-effectively provide water for a variety of non-potable uses, thereby reducing pressure on the region's water supply.

"We're presented with a false dichotomy" says Sarah Walker, President of the Stormwater Industry Association Queensland. "We're told it's either Traveston Dam or desalination, when there are more sustainable and holistic solutions at hand, such as stormwater harvesting".

"We need to have a "balanced diet" when it comes to a city's water supply. Desalination is like the can of baked beans at the back of the cupboard - it's okay to use every now and again when you're caught short, but if you use it everyday you'll have a problem with gas".

The 2009 Healthy Waterways Report Card was a timely reminder of the significance of the impacts of urban stormwater pollution on the waterways of South East Queensland.

Sarah Walker explained that urban stormwater flows can significantly impact the ecology of urban creeks and deliver damaging levels of pollutants to Moreton Bay. "Stormwater harvesting provides a double dividend by reducing these impacts, while providing a water supply source. It turns a problem into a resource".

Stormwater harvesting is considered an important and significant water source by South Australia and Victoria who have secured the majority of the first round of Australian Government funding for stormwater harvesting.

Stormwater harvesting will be a key feature at the Stormwater Industry Association of Queensland conference at the Sunshine Coast on the 29 and 30 April 2010.

 

- Reproduced with permission from Stormwater Industry Association of Queensland.

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