Australia is one of the driest continents in the world. So, it’s no surprise to see the effort that goes into conserving the liquid goodness over here. Southeast Queensland, in particular, is experiencing one of the worst water shortages right now, and the region is currently facing LEVEL 5 Water Restrictions – the highest level (yet maybe not for long as there talk of drafting LEVEL 6 and LEVEL 7 Restrictions). Whether it’s actually a direct result of the drought or a combination of drought and mismanagement, well, that’s a matter of opinion. Anywho, what all do LEVEL 5 Water Restrictions entail?

Well, they ask residents to consider 4-minute showers; use a bucket to spot wash your car; water your lawn/garden between 4-7pm on designated days (T, TH, SAT for odd #/ W, F, SUN for even #); install a rainwater tank. And the government is serious.

The “Water Patrol” cruises through neighborhoods and if you’re caught misusing H20, you get a fine. (First offence, $150. Second offence (if within two years of first), $450. And the fines are even bigger for businesses.) Ads promoting reduced water use are everywhere – billboards, tv, radio.

But, while the Queensland government is certainly very serious, they’re also supportive. If you install a new rainwater tank, you’re elgible for up to a $1000 rebate; install a 4-star or better washing machine, up to $200; replace a single-flush toilet with a double-flush, up to $150. What’s more, they’re offering rebates for “WaterWise” gardening – planting native and/or drought-resistant plants, mulching, purchasing composting kits/devices, etc….

Conserving doesn’t come free. Of course, neither does wasting. Anywho, next time you’re enjoying your 10-, 15-, 20-minute shower, think of how envious I am of you 😉 Then think of how much water you are wasting.