25 November 2019
Sydney dam levels dropped below 47 per cent this week – this time last year they were at 65 per cent – and our supply is rapidly declining helped by lack of rain and high evaporation. The government upgraded restrictions and is expanding desalination operations but in Parliament I called for sustainable action to drought proof our city.
Sydney is the only city in the world to allow coal mining in its catchment and while the government recently put a temporary freeze on new coal mining in the catchment, our dams already lose eight million litres of water a day from existing mines and we need an urgent phase-out.
Our pricing rules make waste water recycling in new residential developments commercially unviable. Since the rules commenced, no new water recycling facilities have been built in the city and residential developers have been hesitant to invest in dual plumbing systems. Other types of development are charged more fairly and I called for a similar pricing scheme in residential buildings.
I also called for expanded water efficiency programs including in social housing. We can’t make it rain but there is no shortage of innovation and solutions to reduce Sydney’s demand on drinking water. My speech: HERE