ABC News Online, Posted Fri Jan 30, 2009 3:03pm AEDT
Updated Fri Jan 30, 2009 3:02pm AEDT
The Federal Government is offering rebates of up to $500 for households that install rainwater tanks or greywater systems.
Federal Minister for Climate Change and Water Penny Wong joined the Member for Bennelong, Maxine McKew, at Eastwood in New South Wales today to launch the National Rainwater and Greywater Initiative.
The rebate aims to encourage more people to make their homes water efficient and only applies to rainwater tanks and greywater systems that re-use water inside the home, not for gardens.
"The $250 million National Rainwater and Greywater Initiative delivers on an election commitment to help households save precious drinking water," Senator Wong said.
"From today, Australian householders will be eligible for a rebate of up to $500 to help them save water at home.
"Through this initiative, households will receive financial support to install rainwater tanks or greywater systems, which will reduce the use of drinking water."
Senator Wong said rainwater tanks were currently used by only a small minority of urban Australian households.
"The only exception is Adelaide, where 40 per cent of households have rainwater tanks but the average is less than 10 per cent for other capital cities," she said.
Ms McKew says the initiative forms part of the Federal Government's $12.9 billion Water for the Future program, which aims to secure Australia's long-term water supplies.
"A key priority under Water for the Future is using water wisely and householders have a major part to play in improving water efficiency and adapting to climate change," Ms McKew said.
"I encourage all householders in Bennelong and elsewhere who don't yet have a rainwater tank or greywater system to consider this rebate and help conserve our precious water resources."
Rebates are available for the purchase and installation of a new rainwater tank which is connected for internal re-use of the water for toilet and/or laundry use, or for the purchase and installation of a permanent greywater treatment system.
A $400 rebate is available for a 2,000 to 3,999-litre tank and a $500 rebate is available for a tank greater than 4,000 litres.
The guidelines and application form for the National Rainwater and Greywater Initiative are available from www.environment.gov.au/water/ or by calling 1800 808 571.