After the recent rejection of water recycling from sewerage by Toowoomba residents in southern Queensland, a Charles Sturt University (CSU) expert in the social impact of water management says the “no” vote reflects public perceptions of risk in public health and environmental issues.
Director of CSU’s Institute for Land, Water and Society (ILWS), Professor Allan Curtis believes regional cities and towns could carry out lower cost water saving activities before reverting to recycling water from sewerage plants.
“Encouraging the construction of new houses to have separate water piping that uses ‘grey’ water for gardens would go a long way to cutting the need to increase the supply of drinking water in Melbourne, Sydney and Perth.
“Part of the problem is that we don’t have effective water trading markets. If we did, many urban centres would be able to buy water that is currently used for agriculture.”
CSU has a team of staff working on water management issues, conservation and quality, including:
- Jonathon Howard, on the opinions of Albury residents on the Murray River on perceived environmental problems, including water conservation;
- Professor Shahbaz Khan and Dr Robyn Watts, on water flows and water quality in the rivers of the Murray-Darling Basin.
Contact CSU Media for interviews with these water experts.