Wa­ter us­age

The Chronicle - - NEWS OPINION YOUR SAY -

TAK­ING up on the SMS from “JH, Gvale” (TC, 13/03), the re­gion’s daily wa­ter sup­ply data can be found on the coun­cil’s web­site at www.tr.qld.gov.au/ en­vi­ron­ment-wa­ter­waste/wa­ter­sup­ply-dams/ dams-bores/ 8066-wa­ter­sup­ply-and­dam-level-statis­tics.

On that page, move down to the bunch of fig­ures in the block headed 2. “Wa­ter Con­sump­tion this year” where you will find seven lines of var­i­ous datasets for the pre­ced­ing seven days (in col­umns) and a “to­tal” col­umn. But also note that the first six lines in this block re­fer to Toowoomba City while the last (sev­enth line) is sim­ply la­belled “other shires”.

This whole ta­ble was the one be­ing used by the for­mer TCC be­fore amal­ga­ma­tion (more than eight years ago) and has never been up­dated to show what is ac­tu­ally hap­pen­ing out­side the city. So much for protes­ta­tions of not be­ing city-cen­tric.

For the seven days end­ing 10/03/17 it is cur­rently re­ported that the city’s av­er­age daily wa­ter use was 37.4 Ml or 294 L/per­son/day. Note also that it peaked on the Tues­day at 39.5 Ml or 311 L/per­son/day.

How­ever the next line has sim­ply the one to­tal for “res­i­den­tial” use and is re­ported as 168 L/per­son/day. This is the fig­ure al­ways used by the coun­cil to sug­gest the over­all level of wa­ter us­age through­out the re­gion, which it is not, and in fact last week, a quick cal­cu­la­tion shows that res­i­den­tial us­age was (claimed) at just 57% of the over­all to­tal – again “in the city”.

As we have re­cently seen via re­port­ing here in The Chron­i­cle, wa­ter us­age varies widely be­tween ar­eas.

There­fore if the coun­cil is fair dinkum about ratepay­ers and res­i­dents hav­ing a bet­ter, and more ac­cu­rate, un­der­stand­ing of its wa­ter sup­ply func­tions and po­ten­tial for up-com­ing chal­lenges, then it must come clean with full, sup­port­able, and rel­e­vant data – area by area and to the same pa­ram­e­ters - and not sim­ply “cherry pick” the most con­ve­nient, but mis­lead­ingly op­ti­mistic, num­ber. — TONY LAKE, Meringan­dan West

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