Outline future options for Melbourne’s water resource
Melbourne’s water reserves in the past 10 years have been exhausted; meanwhile climate change predictions indicate the pressure of water lack will be increasingly serious (Howe et.al 2005). This problem is not just for Melbourne, Australia and many other parts of the world also face to the water shortage problem. Since there is a grave water shortage in Melbourne, the policy of sustainable water management is becoming very important. In order to prevent further deterioration of water shortage in the future, the Victorian Government made a series of countermeasures. There ...view middle of the document...
There are 3.6 million people living in Melbourne, in 2020 the population will increase 1 million in Melbourne (Australian social trend, 2010), as the Grove’s lecture ‘integrated catchment management’ covered ‘future water demand increases of population growth combined with an increase per capita usage’, which means these 392 Liters of using water will increase with the population’s growth, Melbourne needs more water supply but the climate change problem increases difficult in water supply, therefore several projects need to be implemented to protect water resource in the future.
In 2011, the Victorian Government told to people, because the climate change problem, from 1950, Victoria’s average temperature has increased every 10 years; in 2070 the temperature will increase 0.8-5 oC (Howe et.al 2005). Melbourne will experience a more arid climate such as more hot days and dry days in summer. As the figure 1 shows due to the global climate change problems, the rainfall in Melbourne is quite low. With the sustained severe drought, Melbourne’s water level is only about 46.1% of normal the years’, the lowest in recent 3 years; it becomes a serious problem in Melbourne.
Figure 2: Accumulated rainfall for the period October 1996 to May 2004 in Melbourne. (Source: Australian Bureau of Meteorology)
The Victoria’s minister of Water Resource John Thwaites said: ‘if the drought conditions is continuing, we will implement a stricter water restriction.’ The Victorian Government decided if the water level decreases to 44.6% in October then the water restriction will upgrade such as prohibiting water use in the new swimming pool, prohibition of outdoor commercial car washing and limiting outdoor irrigation time. On the other way raising the price of usage water will reduce volume of water used or wasted too. John Thwaited also said: ‘the only one thing we can do is keeping saving water, doing everything we can do to store water, in order to ensure water resource be available in the future. ’
Around 80% of drinking water in Melbourne comes from closed water catchment in the Yarra range. The total area of catchment of Yarra River and its tributary is more than 4000km2, there are 2 million people living in this area (Yeo, 2010), this catchment supply many reservoirs such as upper Yarra, o’shannassy, Maroondah and Silvan reservoir (TJ Entwisle, 1990). Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal decided no new residential area should be built near the Melbourne catchment area 40ha. to ensure the quality of drinking water in Melbourne and surrounding towns, the RMIT University’s associate professor Michael Buxton heaps praise for this decision, he said, outside Melbourne there are 50,000 area ready for new home construction but a large part of them will infract water catchment thereby water catchment area must be protected. Even though Yarra River is not big enough in Australia standard, the production of water in this catchment area is still huge (Bracks...