As a water efficiency professional I am all too aware of the need to save water, but as I live in a unit in the crowded Northern Beaches suburb of Sydney – Manly – I often feel detached from the environmental impact of large droughts that effect much of Australia. It’s all too easy to turn on the tap without really thinking about the journey that water has made to get to you.

I recently went away camping with my wife and three year old son. The campsite was a beautiful site tucked away in the Aussie bush just four hours north of Sydney on Myall Lake. It had no provision of water, no showers. The only facilities were composting toilets. This is real back to basics camping and we loved it! It is this kind of camping that really makes you think about the reality of water shortages. We couldn’t just turn on the tap and expect water to come out because there was no supply!

So I came prepared with containers filled with tap water for drinking. And solar shower bags that I intended to fill from a water source somewhere – which probably would have involved a long walk or a drive. But nature came to our rescue. Within an hour of arriving a heavy rain storm came in. Luckily we’d already set up our tent covered with a waterproof tarp. The rain started to collect on the tarp and spill over onto the ground. Anxious not to waste any valuable water, I quickly grabbed my large bucket to collect the water.

Within an hour or so we had collected enough water to fill two black solar shower bags. Even better still, the sun soon came out and heated the water, so by the evening we all enjoyed a refreshing warm shower of rainwater heated by the sun. My three year old had a whale of a time running in and out of the shower and I could sit back and enjoy a cold beer, instead of making that drive to find a water supply. Luckily in most places in Australia we all have water on tap to our homes, provided by our water utility. But it’s all too easy to waste it when it’s on tap at home. Smart WaterMark highlights innovative products and services to make it easy for us all not to waste water. Just like my camping experience with a DIY Water Butt many of them are fun to use.

Author: Chris Philpot, CEO, Smart WaterMark

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