After nearly 10 years of drought, Australia’s urban water authorities have apparently taught their urban water consumers – the general populace, that is – to restrict their demand for potable water.
Current average daily household water use is about 170 litres per person per day, well down on figures from the 1990s and before.
But, it seems we may have ‘tapped the urban demand control well’ about as far as we can, at least for the time being. According to recent industry reports (Water Services Association of Australia), per capita urban water use will not change now up to at least 2026.
As water use restrictions are continually relaxed over the coming months, which seems likely if the current improved rainfall continues, it is critical that water consumption does not rise to the levels seen before the drought kicked in, back in the early 2000s. This is fundamental from the point of view of long term water use sustainability.
It may not be so good for the income of the water authorities from sale of water, but this is something they can deal with through their ‘price path’ determinations with the independent (monopoly) pricing regulators.
It does probably mean more expensive water for us consumers, but I think we should expect to pay a fair price for long term water security and sustainability.
….. I will be sunning myself on the beaches of Fiji for the next week or so, back on September 11.