Water usage figures highest in two years

LAWNS SOAK IT UP

THE HOT weather reported over the past week has seen Tamworth water use figures shoot up to be among the highest in two years.

Tamworth consumption charts show that the city topped over 40 megalitres on Friday, December 20 and again last Monday as the temperatures climbed over the 36 degrees Celsius mark.

Tamworth Regional Council water director Bruce Logan has predicted that if the heatwave conditions continue this week he expects the water consumption levels to rise in step with the degrees.

“We will break the 40 megalitres use if it stays hot and dry and I reckon we will even get into the high 40s,” he said.

Tamworth water use hit a high of 40.4 megalitres on December 20 when the temperature hit 36.2 degrees and again over 40 megalitres last Monday when the temperature reached 37 degrees.

Tamworth recorded a week of highs over 34 degrees from December 18 – and that’s when the water use started to climb too, according to Mr Logan.

But our rush to the tap when the temperature soars isn’t all about cooling off.

It’s about pouring more water on our lawns.

“Absolutely, gardens are the ones that soak up that higher consumption. About 25 to 30 megalitres of our daily consumption is water that goes on gardens,” Mr Logan said.

“That’s what our data shows us in summertime. If you allowed householders to have air conditioning and no watering outside our consumption would be about 20 to 25 megalitres a day in Tamworth in summer.”

Tamworth water data shows the city supply system has climbed back over the 10-year average in daily consumption.

“And that’s because it’s been dry, that’s the first reason. The other thing is we are mostly using evaporative air conditioning which increases usage too. 

“But the major reason is simply that people want a green lawn. They use sprinklers to get it green; you can mulch your garden but you can’t mulch your lawn, so more water goes on it.”

But while our water use has climbed back up the scale from a couple of years ago when the conserve water messages were loud and listened to by many, we’re not anywhere near the highest.

Mr Logan said that our highest daily consumption since 2006 had been 49 megalitres. But back in 2002 Tamworth had five days when it used up more than 55 megalitres a day, three of those in the first days of January that year.

The highest ever water use day was on January 30, 2002, when we guzzled 60.6 megalitres – about the equivalent of using 25 Olympic swimming pools of the stuff.

With the temperatures expected to soar to as much as 41 degrees by next Friday we’re expected to be right in the fast lane of ploughing through that water.

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