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Water Research Centre
The University of Adelaide
SA 5005 Australia

Phone:+61 8 8313 3747
Facsimile:+61 8 8313 6222

December 2006 Forum

Solving the Water Crisis

A thinktank of the Water Research Cluster's finest postgraduate brains considered how to shortcut to practical solutions to the National Water Crisis, while the politicians and managers talk on. Participants had the opportunity to propose priority actions to address the water crisis. Mark Douglas was the facilitator and guided discussion based on the proposals.

The aim was to develop positive proposals for action to be forwarded to appropriate authorities in government agencies for consideration. These are summarised below. Fifteen water management strategies were recommended to government:

  • Aim to reduce water usage by at least 20% over 10 years
  • Use community scoreboards to report progress
  • Develop incentives for water use reductions
  • Separate potable and grey water in existing suburbs
  • Invest in infrastructure for recycling grey water, stormwater and reduce leakages and bursts
  • Recycle stormwater from roofs to avoid road surface pollutants
  • Purchase irrigation licences for the environment (both government and through community trusts)
  • Target high volume users for savings
  • Focus measures on property as catchment, reward savings
  • User pays
  • No discounts for heavy water users
  • Monitor and control farm dams
  • Promote local grey water recycling
  • National coordination needed for water management
  • Add recycled water to river and creek systems.

Six water management strategies recommended to the University of Adelaide:

  • Become self-sufficient for water needs
  • Introduce dual-flush toilets and water-less urinals
  • Establish campus-based water treatment and recycling
  • Only clean water run-off into Torrens Lake
  • All new buildings collect, treat and recycle water
  • Detect mains water pipe leakages and re-line distribution pipes on campus.

The documented recommendations from the Postgraduate Forum will be forwarded to the State Government and the University of Adelaide. The full submission is here.

Return to 2006 forums