(QldGovSpin) Conference addresses sustainable urban water use

Submitted by Editor on Mon, 30/08/2004 - 21:19

Careful water resource planning, utilising new technology and changing community attitudes to water use are all necessary if Queensland is to accommodate the state's increasing population, Natural Resources Minister Stephen Robertson said today.

Natural Resources, Mines
& Energy, Stephen Robertson



Opening the Sustainable Water in the Urban Environment Conference in Brisbane, Mr Robertson said Queensland's population is growing by more than 1000 people a week.

"It's important that everyone understands the real value of water because Queensland's future economic prosperity and ability to cater for population growth depends on a reliable water supply.

"As demand for water grows, its availability becomes increasingly scarce in periods of low rainfall," Mr Robertson said.

"Integrating water recycling and water-saving technologies into new communities as our urban environment grows will be the key to ensuring we continue to enjoy the lifestyle Queensland has to offer.

"Queensland's water reserves are not limitless and we must be more efficient with our water usage to ensure we value every drop we use.

"As the state's recent drought and bushfires have dramatically demonstrated, the days when we could afford to use our water just once are over."

Mr Robertson said throughout Queensland, measures were being taken to conserve the state's water supplies and in particular drinking water supplies.

"The Kelvin Grove Urban Village development will irrigate its gardens by using the water collected in rainwater tanks, while developments at Springfield, Pimpama and Coomera will use recycled water for domestic purposes such as in the garden and for toilet flushing," Mr Robertson said.

"The State Government has also released draft guidelines for using recycled water focusing on reducing health risks, licensing and planning considerations, water quality, options for treating and disinfecting recycled water and ways of developing a Recycled Water Safety Plan.

"By recycling treated water in safe, environmentally sustainable and cost-effective ways, we will reduce the pressures on our water reserves and cut the demand for more infrastructure, such as dams."

Mr Robertson said the State Government was a major supporter of conferences like these in the past and through EPA has contributed $10,000 towards this conference, in partnership with the Australian Water Association, the Stormwater Industry Association, the Urban Development Institute of Australia and the Australian Green Development Forum.

The two-day conference is expected to attract up to 200 experts from throughout Queensland, including councillors, engineers, planners, developers, industry practitioners and environmental advocates.

Media: Paul Lynch 3896 3689



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