Make every drop count says Gardening Guru

Gardening Guru Phil Dudman (pictured) has leant his support to Lismore City Councils oddsnevens strategy, which sees residents able to water their gardens with a hose on alternate days according to the date and their street address.

Water is such an important issue, he said at the official launch last week. We dont have to go back far to think when we were really in trouble. There was quite a lot of fear about how long our water was going to last and everybody rallied. At my place the bath was filled up from the shower and we were using buckets of it to flush the toilet. So when I heard about (the odds nevens strategy) I thought At last. Fantastic.

Phil said if people needed to water on their alloted off days they could use a bucket or a watering can.

As part of the launch Lismore City Council is offering Lismore Water customers a limited number of special water saving packages for $2 (worth $17) which include a water timing device and a trigger nozzle. There is also an oddsnevens hotline that people can call to register for a chance to win a home visit by Phil to do a water wise garden assessment, complete with a report. There will be one winner per month during the strategys six-month pilot (phone 6625 0444 to register).

Lismore mayor Merv King said the strategy was not a water restriction because there was no penalty for breaches.

Were inviting people to be part of the strategy, he said. We hope that everybody will do it.

Greens councillor Vanessa Ekins said she supported the strategy but felt it didnt go far enough.

I think theres this horror of water restrictions, she said. But the drought condition is our normal state now in Australia. We need to get used to it.

Cr Ekins said it would be interesting to see when the strategy was evaluated whether it had resulted in water savings.

She said in the Rous catchment area 17 per cent of all water consumption was from residential outdoor use, while 14 per cent was due to system leakage and unmetred use.

We need to spend millions of dollars upgrading our infrastructure but were not allocating funds for that instead were fiddling round the edges with odds and evens.

Cr Ekins said Lismore City Council was currently taking dividends of over $100,000 from Lismore Water each year and she felt the money should be stockpiled for infrastructure maintenance.

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