Two things are important to any Queenslander: water and money. Both are necessary for life, and are too often in short supply. A water tank rebate was popular in many Australian states because it makes it easier for people to save water. State-sponsored rebate programmes for rainwater tanks are no longer available today. However, there is no saying when there will again be a need for it.
Australia has a hot, dry climate with little rainfall. Water is always a precious commodity even during the best of times. However, the lack of water became a severe problem more than a decade ago. Little or no rain fell in Australia from 2000 to 2007. Known as the “big dry” or the “Millennium Drought,” it brought about a national emergency. It was actually two brutal dry spells, in 2002 and 2006, brought about by El Nino. What made it worse that very little rain fell between those two periods. Many parts of Australia were in big trouble, including Queensland. Something had to be done, and quickly.
The Queensland government decided to bring out the big guns. It reached out to the people to help solve the problem. It did this through the Home WaterWise Rebate Scheme. Under this rebate program, residents could claim $1,000 for installing home rainwater tanks. This increased to $1,500 if you connected the tank to the toilet and laundry plumbing. The program ended in 2008 when the government decided it had enough tanks to lick the problem. It worked, too. For example, there is now over 9,000 rainwater tanks in Brisbane, which the city council has helped bring about by giving out $65 million in rebates. The city is one of the most water efficient one in the world, as noted by Rhino Water Tanks.
Queensland is still offering emergency fund to farmers that are having a hard time with the water supply, but water rebate programs for homes have ended. However, the threat of El Nino is again looming over Australia. Some people predict it will be the worst one yet. It is best for Queenslanders to be better prepared this time around.