Saturday, January 24, 2009


    Yes, i'm banging on about water again.

    The Vic govt has this new 'Target 155' scheme going on. Ads showing shiny happy people brushing their teeth without the tap running, and scraping ( as opposed to rinsing ) their plates before popping them in the dishwasher. The target apparently is for every person to reduce their personal usuage of water to 155litres PER person PER day.

    Man, I thought, that sounds excessive.

    I couldn't help but picture those kids from the WorldVision material, walking miles for a bucket of pissy unpure water for the whole family to probably bathe in and then cook with, or cook with, and then bathe in. Whatever. I tend towards the dramatic.


    So we got our water bill yesterday and our WHOLE FAMILY of four uses 194litres per day. That's less than 50litres per person. According to my govt, it should be ok then for me to run out in the backyard and have waterfights and run the sprinkler.
    Pisses me off.

    Look, we're waterwise, but not Nazis. I do at least a load of washing each day, we shower, the boys have baths ( on the deck in tubs usually, keeps the house dry and I can sit out there with a wine and a book ensuring they don't drown. Noice ). I can't even reduce my showers to the recommended 4minute limit .. and sometimes I let the eldest boy play with a running tap because it gives me peace and he loves it.

    So I can't help wondering: what are other people's bills like ?
    Are you under T155 ? I want to know, because I think the current allocation is excessive, so why the fuck waste money on promoting it ? If everyone is using the amount we are for example, they're all going to pat themselves on the back and UP their usage as a reward for being good ( "Hey, we can run the sprinkler, we're way under T155!" )

    The other thing that annoys me about this lame-arse scheme is that it doesn't take into consideration a sliding scale ( whereby the first person, or lone dweller would probably use 155, but then if s/he got a live-in boy/girlfriend, technically, the usage per person should come down. IMO ). It's a dumbed down system geared for the dumbed-down consumer, no doubt.

    Anyway, i'm in a bit of a pissy mood today. Can you tell ?


    Melody said...

    Shit I love that photo! Fantastic.

    Yeah 155 per person, per day, is A LOT of water - I do agree. I have no idea what our water usage was/is but I like to think it is where your water levels are at. It isn't fair is it? And then how pissed off do you feel when you see folks washing their driveways etc., Maybe we should think of these people as not using their allowance either? ('sif!)

    dancingmorganmouse said...

    Re feeling pissy - It's the heat, it sucks the humour right out of you. We're so under the 155 per person per day I'm feel I should be able to run outside and sit under the hose.

    h&b said...

    hmm - well, are they lumping us in with INDUSTRIAL use then ? Because according to the site, your average Victorian is using 188ltr per day. HOW THE HELL ?

    Because even at my most reckless, I don't think we could do it even if we tried really hard..

    Stupid guvmint.

    Blue Mountains Mary said...

    You do good pissy though!

    I have no idea what we use (and of course we are in NSW) but I am pretty sure we are under that limit. Helps that my children don't seem to have had a bath/shower all summer!

    Retro Age Vintage Fabrics said...

    I totally agree with you - I am down on the Surf Coast and we're on stage 4 restrictions and have been for around two years, I think. No cleaning car. No watering lawns, gardens etc - etc on a nominated two-day period a week, for no more than one hour...but we don't even use most of this allocation. I see people out there watering their roses and stuff and it gets my goat up - we water our vegies and herbs and that's it, shower, wash etc - and we're all doing okay, you know?? 155 per day is too much.

    Stacey said...

    Yep, we're under the limit too (as opposed to last night when I was way over the limit....).
    I do at least two loads of washing a day, run the dishwasher, shower, bathe kids, etc. I don't know how anyone could go over, really.

    Anonymous said...

    beautiful photo.

    We don't get a water bill as such. It all comes through our council rates and I have never looked to see how much we use. We have had water restrictions in place here since the 1980s, so these things have always been a part of NQ life.

    Julia said...

    I'm in a pissy mood today too. In fact it kinda pisses me that you write posts that make me want to comment. I rarely do. I'm usually a silent blog watcher...but here I am commenting again. :)
    It's this heat. Give me a cool breeze and some rain and I'll be happy.
    We are way under T155 so I have allowed myself the privilege of watering my vegie patch twice a week at whatever damn time I like. Stuff this 6-8am crap.
    Also - love the bathing the kids on the deck bit...may have to try that tomorrow night...with something cool and sparkling in the hand that isn't holding the face washer.

    Stomper Girl said...

    We're well under too, but I could go lower if I could squish the kids into a mini-bath like your 2 cuties. (that is SUCH a beautiful photo) And I thought our bath was small...

    Does this mean I can flush the yellow a bit more, because frankly our toilet STINKS?

    Sorry to hear you're feeling pissy, hope you cheer up soon love. x

    M+B said...

    Need a pissy day every so often, though I hope it passes quickly.

    We have been on water restictions forever over here in the west, and I get pissed off when I do the right thing and dickhead next door has his sprinklers on 3 times/day for over an hour each time. Oops sorry this is your vent!

    Love the photo!

    Keryn said...

    h&b you write so well!! Beautiful photo, we have almost finished our deck and now you have inspired me to do the same with my boys...Ta

    nikkishell said...

    I received my water bill the other day too and was horrified to see we are using over 100 litres more per day than we were this time last year. I think it has something to do with the new bigger washing machine (which i made sure had the best water rating when i bought it). Other than that we're not really using much more. Hubby is quite partial to washing clothes, and although it's nice to have a hubby obsessed with that kind of stuff it is kinda wasteful. Need to train him to wash less often.

    nikkishell said...

    Oh and we're still way under the limit. :)

    Aunty Evil said...

    That photo is FANTASTIC!!

    Shel said...

    This weeks average per person water use was 188L. It appears that the likes of you and me are not the norm - I often too wonder WTF they are using water ON and FOR to be using that sort of water. Are they filling swimming pools or something?? Every day???

    shellyC said...

    ooh this pisses me off too!! A couple of years ago when i put in a request for a pool and kept a tally of how much water 7 of us used - yes in-laws were here for a few months- and we were all clean and still used less than 200L a day. Yet that didn't count and we were not allowed to get a pool!!! What do people do with water?
    Here in ACT it is rated per household - no allowances for how many in your family etc!!

    MildlyCrafty said...

    I just checked our last bill (from November) and we used 163 litres per day for two people so yeah, I'd agree with you that 155 per person is a hell of a lot. And like Julia I water my vegie patch whenever it needs it, which is not that often really, it mostly lives on water from the washing machine and shower.

    meggie said...

    Gorgeous photo!!

    Anonymous said...

    Great photo.
    We have been on water restrictions for so long now, no one uses hoses or town water much outside showering / dishes etc. 95% of us have at least one tank. It seems a lifetime ago we could frolic under the sprinkler. In fact, I don't actually know anyone here who even has a sprinkler anymore.

    Jorth said...

    Ha ha, I'm glad I'm not the only one who figured this out. We use 131 litres in a family of three, and I too hopped about, screeching indignantly about WTF others were doing with their water!

    Still have no answers...

    (Although, now I think about it, I AM a water Nazi. That annoying knock on the bathroom door when three minutes in the shower is up? That's me. Berating nag over flushing the yellow? Yep, my hands up. I shudder to think what I would do if I saw somebody rinsing their dishes...)

    h&b said...

    Heh @ Jorth ( and a bit scared too )

    Ok - what we do:
    2x watertanks ( no mains on lawn/garden )
    bucket EVERY shower/bath & EVERY clothes wash ( for the garden, on top of watertanks )

    Yellow=mellow / brown=flush it down ( unless guest are coming, then we flush all wees )

    No other waste ( ie: rinsing veges ) besides my 6min shower ( in which I shave all bits, wash hair etc - but is set off by the husband being better at quick than me )

    The water from steaming veges is even used for plants etc.

    But for us, this is normal. And definitely does not put a dint in our suburban patina or makes us *uneweshewal*

    I also haven't seen a sprinkler in years ( although I would love to own one and let the kids run through in their knickers .. ahhh ;)

    clair bremner said...

    we are well under the 155 per person as well. WELL under. We were always under even before the brought out the 155 rule. I remembering checking to see how much we would have to cut out when my first bill cam after the 155 announcement and i laughed because we were already SO far under it LOL. We don't water our garden at all so every now and then i splurge on our allocated watering day and squirt the kids with the hose for 15 min instead. I feel guilty and watch my back the whole time thinking that the water police are gonna bust me but i also believe that it it's important for my kids to have a childhood, and one of my best summer memories were running under the sprinkler... off on a tangent there. sorry

    Damselfly said...

    Those boys are having so much fun! You always get amazing shots.

    We have water restrictions where I live too, and they tend to not make sense mostly because they have certain limits for homeowners, others for businesses and others for, say, golf courses. It really peeves me to see businesses running their sprinklers in the middle of the day (when the heat supposedly evaporates up to 70% of the water) and most of it ends up on the sidewalk anyway while our lawn goes brown.

    Kirsty said...

    We only have rain water at our place and so have always been careful with water. But what gets me is the government tells everyone don't do this, don't water that, BUT industrial use has had no limits put on them!!! Household use is 1%.....1 bloody % of Australias water usage!!! And they are worried about how long you shower for!!!OMG.

    Alby Mangroves said...

    We're just under that 155 limit, but I agree in principal, and the sliding scale would be a good idea too. Still, there might be a lot of wankers out there who don't give a crap how much they overuse, maybe this is aimed at them?

    My float said...

    On the bright side, at least the restriction has brought about that lovely photo!

    I can't imagine that we use anywhere near the limit - although I haven't checked - and it drives me insane to see people's sprinklers going on the pavement...And I'm with the person who commented on the industrial usage (or should I say wastage!)

    13mimosa said...

    We received our bill on Friday and our average daily usage for a household of 4 with a vegie garden I use bath water on 5 days a week and water twice a week, is 274l. I too was horrified, if we stuck to 155 each we'd be over 600 per day!

    zoesquid said...

    Just joining the bandwagon. Family of four - well under 155 litres a day. Relatively conservative in our water usage but not obsessive. Get this though. We checked my MIL's useage the other day. A single 77 year old woman. Limited gardening and she has been paying for 260 litres per day for the past 5 years. When she rang the water company they treated her like she was a loopy old women and refused to investigate. Anyway to cut a long story short, she had to pay (from her pension) for a plumber to come out and check her water metre. The metre was faulty althought the water company wont admit it and have refused to re-imburse her for all those years they've overcharged her!
    Ok now whose pissy. It just stinks

    h&b said...

    Um, Zoesquid - who do I write to ? - that is just *deplorable*, and definitely 'taking advantage'. I hope you & your husband, with scary old 'aggressive youth' on your side are able to bully that water company out of their ill-gained profits !

    Better still, name & shame them and write about it. I'm thinking of sending the guvmint to this blogpost, since they've ignored my previous query so far...

    Levin (and Emily) said...

    we are under the limit but to this day i still feel a pang of guilt cause i let my kids have an outdoor shower (in the garden) rather than an indoor one as it was so hot. to me it makes sense - rather than the water going down the drain, it goes on the garden but apparently it's not allowed. i just wish we could use common sense occasionally - mind you, there are always those who will abuse it. and then there are those of us who bucket out bath water and washing machine water and watch every drop we use.
    i saw someone hosing down their front veranda and then their fence the other day......sad really.

    Post a Comment

    Hey, You just read me, and this is crazy,
    But here's my Blogger, Comment maybe <3