Water – A Scarce Commodity

Did you know that only 2.5% of the water in the world is drinkable? And with that, only 1% is available for drinking water, with the balance trapped in icecaps, glaciers, and inaccessible underground aquifers.

Most Australians are lucky to have access to clean fresh water in their homes, and so the notion of water scarcity is an abstract concept. As a stark contrast, Australian farmers and rural population all too well understand the value of this precious commodity as Australia cycles through extended drought periods. Many factors contribute to the amount of water available to rural communities, including environmental, political, economic and social forces.

The amount of freshwater has remained relatively constant since over the past few hundred years, as it continually cycles in rivers and oceans, turns into clouds, and falls back on earth. With an increasing population over that period, the amount of clean, fresh, drinking suitable water has decreased per capita. Water usage has grown at more than twice the rate of the population in the last century. This will see us under more water stress in the next two decades, unless we start to face the challenge and conserve, manage and distribute water more effectively.

Not only do we need to manage our water more effectively, we also need to reduce and effectively minimize contaminating the extraordinarily little fresh water available to us, through pollution in rivers, lakes and underground aquifers. Acid rain generated from coal burning and other industries ends up at surface water and goes back into the ground. Water contamination also can occur during the fracking process used to extract gases from underground.

ASC Water Tanks is committed to helping Australians conserve water. This is done by harvesting rain water collected from your roof and storing it onsite for re-use. This can be for domestic or garden use in urban Australia, or used for irrigation and agricultural purposes in rural Australia. Rain Water tanks in Australia are estimated to harvest close to 275 billion litres of water annually. With only an estimated one in four homes with a water tank, we could be harvesting closer to 100 billion litres of water annually. This takes away stress from requiring water from dams, rivers and lakes, whilst also reducing energy costs associated with moving water around the country. In turn, it would also reduce Australia’s dependency on desalination plants, and increase the amount of water that could be allocated to farmers and food industry.

For more information about how you can help, contact our staff on (03) 8795 7715 and ask us what a water tank can do for you, and how you can save money on your next water bill.

This piece was written by Anant Yuvarajah, Director at ASC Water Tanks, with information sourced from the Rain Harvesting Association, National Geographic and The World Health Organization.

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