Water tanks and wildlife (Victoria)

To: <>
Subject: Water tanks and wildlife (Victoria)
From: "Peter Shute" <>
Date: Mon, 25 Aug 2008 11:47:33 +1000
There is, apparently, a proposal to "drop" water tanks as part of Victoria's 
water strategy.  This is front page news in today's Age:
and there is a full page about it in the Opinion and Analysis section of the 
paper (not online yet).

They suggest that previous studies underestimated the amount of water household 
tanks could collect by 2/3, so their installation should be encouraged, not 

The main article says:
"Tanks can be important in reducing stormwater run off, which damages and 
pollutes waterways."

Does this sound right?  I would have thought that if you remove the fairly 
clean roof component of the flows in urban waterways, but still allow runoff 
from the roads, then the water that does reach the local creeks will be far 
more polluted than before.

I've been wondering what effect it would have on the volumes reaching local 
waterways if all roof runoff was removed, as the tank proponents seem to be 
advising.  I'm guessing at least a 10% reduction, far more in inner urban 
areas.  So are we really "saving" water by doing this, or just stealing it from 
the local crakes and rails (etc)?

Does anyone have any thoughts about this, and whether I need to worry about it 
at all?  Should this issue be part of the water tank debate, or is the possible 
effect too small to matter?

Peter Shute

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