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Water needs urgent long term planning

Media Release
Rachel Siewert 24 Oct 2007

To mark the importance of National Water Week, the Greens are calling for urgent action on effective planning of water efficiency, conservation and control.

"Parts of Australia are running out of water, the Murray Darling system is at its lowest levels in 116 years and most capitals in Australia have record low dam levels," said Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert.

"Governments need to implement long-term programs to tackle the problems head-on but what we are seeing is a lack of the clear leadership we need, to take us forward during times of change."

The Water Services Association of Australia predicts that by 2030, if no conservation measures are taken and climate change and population growth continue as forecast, Australia's largest cities will be consuming 854 gigalitres more water than they use now - nearly double the water than the city of Melbourne uses in a year. This will be at the expense of our environment, rivers and agricultural production.

"For the sake of the environment and the economy we need a green change in the way we deal with water. Australians are screaming out for action on water management, drought-proofing and sustainable agriculture planning," she said.

"Water efficiency, conservation and rainwater tanks can lower household water use by 50-70%. The Greens would invest in helping households to install rainwater tanks and water efficiency measures such as low flow showerheads."

"There is no simple answer to this problem but we need a Government committed to taking action, regardless of the election outcome," concluded Senator Siewert.

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