Water tanks and wildlife (Victoria)

To: "Peter Shute" <>
Subject: Water tanks and wildlife (Victoria)
From: L&L Knight <>
Date: Mon, 25 Aug 2008 12:02:18 +1000
Taking roof loads out of the stormwater system would certainly reduce the flash flooding in urban waterways.

Presumably the water in residential tanks would to some degree replace water that is extracted from the waterways feeding the urban water system.

Regards, Laurie.

On 25/08/2008, at 11:47 AM, Peter Shute wrote:

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 halted.

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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