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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 9 Hansard (26 August) . . Page.. 3191 ..

MR STEFANIAK (continuing):

Mr McIntyre states that, if a concerted program were run by Actew and the ACT government to reduce inside use-by people taking shorter showers, less use of washing machines, fixing leaks et cetera, there would easily be a reduction in inside use of 15 per cent. That is the total use for all of those ovals, on his figures-14.3 megalitres. Mr McIntyre has since sent me a further paper which I think is particularly helpful to the government.

I am raising this debate not so much to try to score political points-because we do have a real water crisis-but to get the government to look sensibly at what has been done elsewhere and what other steps can be taken to save this precious asset of 260 hectares of playing fields.

The proposed cuts on the category 3 ovals, if they stopped being watered, would take irrigated areas to 200 hectares. He states, "I am putting up the case to keep the 60 hectares."He talks of social capital and the health of the community. He states that these 60 hectares will require an increasing amount of water as we get into summer and daily evaporation increases. The amount of extra water required for 60 hectares is only, in October, 1.7 megalitres per day; in November, 2 megalitres per day; in December and January-the hottest and most problematic months-2.5 megalitres per day.

Mr McIntyre says that, currently, we're using about 90 megalitres inside our houses. He states that ACTEW and the government have done almost nothing to reduce this. He says simply that if we, as a community, can reduce the water use inside the house by less than 2 per cent in October and November and by a little over 5.5 per cent for the rest of the summer, we can retain this valuable social asset-namely, all those category 3 ovals. The government needs to look at this as a community trade-off.

He states, "My plea to the government is please don't look at this as the government doing its bit to save water-rather look at it as asking the community to cooperate in saving their own assets. These are not the government's playing fields-they belong to the community. There is no need to lose them."We are not talking about large amounts of water to save these valuable community assets. The City of Tamworth saved its outdoor recreation assets last year by making this decision. It should be a community value decision and the government should not feel guilty for making it.

He goes on to state that these estimates are based on winding Comtrol back to the absolute limit. This would involve using a factor of 55 per cent of net evaporation, rather than the desirable 60 per cent. The calculations are based on 1 millimetre of irrigation on one square metre of turf generating one litre of water. This means that one hectare of grass requires 10,000 litres of water per millimetre of irrigation used.

The average evaporation for October is 5.1 millimetres per day. For November it is 6.4; December, 8.2, January, 8.4; and February, 7.4. For October, the water required per day is 5.1 times 55 per cent, which equals 2.8 millimetres. Then 2.8 millimetres applied to one hectare is 2.8 times 10,000 litres, which equals 28,000 litres. Then 28,000 times 60 hectares is 1,680,000 litres or 1.68 megalitres. That is how he does his computations.

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