Report bolsters calls for water recycling

By Adam Coleman

Figures from the Meteorology’s Annual Australian Climate Statement 2006 revealed it was Australia’s 11th warmest year on record.

The parliamentary secretary for the environment, Greg Hunt, said it’s been the third driest year in Sydney, Melbourne and in Brisbane’s south-east catchment areas and suggested that major, national recycling schemes in Queensland, Victoria and New South Wales are a priority for industry and agriculture.

A recent report on water policy by the Senate’s standing committee on rural and regional affairs recommended The Federal Government develop water recycling plants to improve public acceptance.

"The committee recommends that The Federal Government should commit to the construction of one or more advanced water recycling plants to produce water for a range of both potable (drinking) and non-potable uses, in order to raise public awareness about the safety of recycled water," the report said.

Any consideration of a water recycling scheme should be carefully evaluated says Water Services Association of Australia – deputy executive director, Mr Claude Piccinin.

“There is a whole swag of demand management options. All those things ought to be looked at from a financial perspective, an environmental perspective but also from a societal perspective,” he says.

“The whole thing is about risk management and depending on the risk you are facing in your particular circumstances your management processes are going to have to be different.”

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