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Australian Building Codes Mandate Rainwater Harvesting

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Access to clean water is becoming increasingly scarce, but in an arid nation like Australia, water is most especially precious. Now many homes across the vast country are beginning to learn just how simple and important it can be to collect their own rainwater.

rainwater drop

Many local governments and groups, such as Rainwater Harvesting Association of Australia, have been promoting sensible water use policy reform. Cities have begun implementing recycled greywater use and other sustainable water systems. A few years ago several areas in the country began requiring water catchment systems for newly constructed buildings; the installation of rainwater tanks is specifically mandated in certain municipal building codes.

Why Sustainable Water Policies Matter

South East Queensland residents are required to include rainwater harvesting in new buildings, and the populace seems to have taken to the sustainable practice like a fish to water. The city offers extensive support and public education related to sustainable water practices and installing rain barrels; in the Gold Coast area, residential households that have started harvesting rainwater have become increasingly common. Currently nearly half of all residents are now saving their own water.

These success stories are most inspiring, especially when considering that some regions in the United States, such as Utah and Colorado, even goes as far as legally forbidding all residents from saving rainfall. Through necessity and ingenuity Australia has provided impressive leadership in sustainable water use, as well as mandating sensible building code reforms and mandating rain barrels, to help conserve water. For those who want to purchase water storage tanks, one source in Australia is Quicksales, where you can buy second hand goods and other items like rain barrels.

We here in the US must start paying more attention to these intelligent public water policies down under, and should start instituting similar water use conservation reforms here at home.

image via Rainwater Harvesting Association of Australia
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