1. Hi Darren,
    I came here after you commented on my post on sustain myself. I love following the blogs of other aussies doing the same sustainability challenge as myself. I have met a lot of great people so far.

    These water restrictions absolutely knock me for six. I am astounded at the ignorance of our leaders in general, but this is utterly ridiculous. I am almost lost for words. I just told my wife about it and I said ‘What kind of Neanderthals make these decisions?’ and she replied with ‘ones that want nice clean cars and buildings of course’. She makes a good point, most people would prefer to look good anyway….

    Great blog, I look forward to more of your posts.

    • Hi Christian! I really liked your site too, and am following you in my RSS reader. I agree – it’s great to find people living nearby who are also trying to live more sustainably. I’m just down the road in Kiama.

      I think the politicians that decide on things like water restrictions are just grabbing for votes, rather than trying to really fix the problem of lack of water. If they wanted to limit usage, they’d set reasonable limits and then impose excess charges for people who go over, like they used to do in the old days.

      Let people decide what they want to use their water allocation on. Why is it OK to use 100L hosing a wall, but not OK to use that same amount of water to sustain a vegie patch? There’s no logical answer to that one.

      Imposing excess charges would also encourage more people to put in rainwater tanks, which could only be a good thing. Fear of the excess fee would also motivate people to be more careful with their water usage.

  2. All we vegie gardeners need to do is guild-plant — that way you’re always ‘watering in something that was planted within the last 4 weeks’! Pity we have to use a trigger-nozzle rather than turning on the weeper hose though.

    • Yeah, and you have to have purchased it in the last 4 weeks. You can’t just be planting out your own seedlings. Another blow to self-sufficiency and heirloom varieties, another boost for the big bland industrial propagators.

      I wonder if we could sell to each other, provide receipts, and work around the rules that way?

  3. Hi Darren, I just ‘found’ you through ALS – and I’m with you on the total absurdity (real word?!) of the current restrictions. What value is to be gained from hosing down a brick wall? Or having a shiny car?
    And don’t get me started on the new seedlings thing ….. aarrgghh! This year I have tried to grow my own heirloom veggies from seed. Obviously would have been better off waterwise buying from Bunnings (and supporting Monsanto) so I could have my nice little receipt to keep the water-police happy.
    Hmmm.. how about planting a brick wall in the middle of the veggie patch? It would need washing down every day surely?!!

    • You wouldn’t want your brick wall wilting in the heat, I guess. Gotta keep it well-watered.

      I’ve actually got a brick wall at the back of my vegie patch. Maybe I can just hose that every day. Great idea! Just don’t forget to use a trigger nozzle.

  4. Great to see so much interest in this issue – they actually held a public forum about this in Melbourne last year with speakers including David Holgrem- see http://www.fga.org.au/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=42&Itemid=2 for more info.

    I was really disappointed a few weeks ago when I had the chance to ask a Sydney Water representative about how they are grappling with the issue of needing to support backyard food production and she didn’t even understand the question. So it’s clearly not even on their radar. Let’s hope it doesn’t remain that way for too much longer.


    Adventures in Urban Sustainability

    • That is a disappointing response from Sydney Water.

      I did the Sydney Water “Love Your Garden” thing, where they send a qualified horticulturalist out to assess your garden’s watering needs. She understood that vegies need more than just twice-weekly watering, so they do at least have some people there that get it. The only advice she could offer, though, was to use a watering can on the days you can’t use a hose.

  5. Valma McIlveen

    Could you please advise current (December, 09) water restrictions as I am hearing on the wireless that one is allowed to use sprinklers any day and water gardens any day As I am elderly I wish to be well informed

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