Date: 01/02/2018
Read Time: 1 min 43 sec
Author: Tim Cox
Key Points:

  • Rainwater tanks provided 8% of household consumption, saving owners $507 million in 2013/14
  • Despite substantial savings and benefits, rainwater harvesting lacks major government policy support
  • Rainwater Harvesting Association of Australia urges reevaluation of sustainable water practices


The recently released Water Account by the Australian Bureau of Statistics reveals serious money in our water tanks. ABS research shows Rainwater tanks provided 8% of household consumption or 156 billion litres of water, saving their owners the equivalent of $507 million in water bills in 2013/14. The RHAA assessment shows rainwater harvesting systems conservatively provided over 247 billion litres during 2013/14.

Stuart Heldon, Vice Chairman of the Rainwater Harvesting Association of Australia was curious about the report;

“It shows rainwater harvesting is a significant part of the Australian water landscape, so why isn’t it a major government policy? There are clear savings for homeowners here but the government seems to prefer homeowners to pay $5.3 billion in water charges, a 14% increase’.

Queensland is a good example, the government axed rainwater harvesting legislation in 2012 and plans to run the Gold Coast desalination plant continuously from 2020. Rainwater harvesting saved Queenslanders 46 billion litres last year, equivalent to $149 million, a 10% saving on the $1.1 billion they spent on the third highest water charges in the country.

“It is time to put sustainable water use and rainwater harvesting back on the table for discussion”.

ABS 4610.0 – Water Account, Australia, 2013-14, released 26 November 2015

Rainwater Harvesting Association of Australia – contact Stuart Heldon, Director

The RHAA is a not for profit rainwater harvesting industry association that works to:

  • support sustainable water use in Australia;
  • support the 5.1 million Australians who own a rainwater tank (ABS, 2013);
  • promote rainwater harvesting as an integral part of sustainable water management;
  • maintain standards and guidelines for rainwater harvesting in Australia.

These actions grow and develop the $500 million Australian rainwater harvesting industry.

Southland Filtration has worked closely with stakeholders on numerous projects Australia-wide to deliver sustainable water management outcomes through adopting rainwater harvesting measures, including the new Blacktown Mt Druitt Hospital Redevelopment project.