Rainwater tanks at risk of being lost

Planning SA are removing the compulsory requirement for rainwater tanks to be a part of new homes across South Australia and will just “recommend” rainwater tanks instead.

Without rainwater tanks being an integral part of every new home, South Australian residents can expect to see their stormwater systems overwhelmed, increased local flooding, damaged waterways, costly stormwater infrastructure upgrades, and even more stress on the Murray River.

With the high cost of the desalination plant, South Australia is mostly reliant on the Murray to get through our hot, dry summers. The Murray is not in great shape and we could be using rainwater rather than highly treated Murray River water to flush our toilets, do our laundry and green our gardens.

Rainwater tanks are also a powerful solution for reducing stormwater run-off by collecting rain “at the source”. This immediately reduces the amount of rain exiting the property into the stormwater system – by doing this across every home in South Australia, we are making a real difference for local waterways and seagrasses.

If rainwater tanks are not a compulsory requirement, we run the real risk of seeing rainwater tanks being lost in the new home building process. This will have a long-term impact on our community, our environment and our water security.

Rainwater tanks make sense to nearly everybody – even Planning SA who identify rainwater tanks as the most cost-efficient and effective solution for most stormwater management in South Australia.

With future infill development and climate change increasing the impact on existing stormwater infrastructure by 250%, SA Planning needs to urgently explain how the “recommended” rainwater tank requirement will work and ensure the community and environment are protected.

Until this is done, the South Australian government must retain compulsory rainwater tanks across all new homes.

Media enquires: Mike Thompson Chairman Rainwater Harvesting Australia 0408 065 295