PAUL Hopkins wants to see domestic water use conserved before the federal government spends billion of dollars on siphoning off
PAUL Hopkins wants to see domestic water use conserved before the federal government spends billion of dollars on siphoning off

Selling water will hurt Tweed



TWEED'S environment would be the loser if water was sold interstate, says Murwillumbah-based Caldera Environment Centre co-ordinator Paul Hopkins.

Federal Water Resources Minister Malcolm Turnbull is waiting on a report which will assess the idea of siphoning water from the Tweed catchment to supply dry areas of southern Queensland.

But Mr Hopkins wants to know why the Tweed should have to pay for over-development on the Gold Coast when there are simple solutions at hand.

"Before the federal government launches into major infrastructure programs, why not address domestic water use first," he said.

Mr Hopkins said the Tweed Shire Council's figures showed that about half of domestic water use goes onto gardens (largely grass lawns) while more than a quarter of water is flushed down the toilet.

"Rain water tanks draining from the roof could supply most of our essential water needs," he said.

Using grey water for gardens, getting rid of lawns, installing composting toilets matched by financial incentives from council would help to reduce water consumption.

But unlike it's sister councils, Tweed Shire Council offers no financial incentives by way of rebates for residents to install rainwater tanks or conserve water. Rous Water offers residents in Lismore, Ballina and Byron up to $670 in rebates for rainwater tanks.

Mr Hopkins said it would be more appropriate for domestic water use to be addressed before spending billions of dollars on infrastructure that would simply encourage places like the Gold Coast to merrily keep over-developing.

? MADELEINE DOHERTY



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