Water scarcity – some of us think it is an issue just in the developing world – but that is not the case. Even Australia has experienced water issues, most notably the Millennium drought which occurred between 1997 and 2009. It affected chiefly southern Australia and devastated communities, industries and the environment. It is reported that in Melbourne, a city of 4.3 million people located in southeastern Australia, water levels dropped to an all-time low capacity of 25.6 percent before the drought eased.
Water Crisis Imminent
Because of recent rainfall shortages and climate change another water crisis is looming in Australia. According to a report from the Climate Council, Australia’s 2017 winter was the warmest on record as well as one of the top 10 driest seasons ever. The nation experienced its second driest June on record with rainfall across Australia 62% below average. The month of July in Australia was the warmest on record with average maximum temperatures, at 2.6°C above average, more than 0.6°C above the previous record set in 1975. July also recorded the highest average temperatures on record for Queensland and the Northern Territory. In August total rainfall for Queensland was 78% below average, while in the Northern Territory rainfall was 98% below average. The stats all point to a very concerning situation in Australia.
The Driest Continent
Australia is the driest continent inhabited on Earth. With its very limited freshwater sources, drought is a considered part of its climate. Additional research from the Climate Council states that” Water scarcity in major cities, particularly Melbourne, Sydney and Perth, has been exacerbated by drought and remains an ongoing challenge. As of 2013, 89 percent of Australia’s population lived in urban areas (World Bank 2013), placing high demand on urban water supplies as populations continue to grow. Pressure on urban water supplies is projected to intensify as droughts increase in frequency and severity in the southwest and southeast.”
Droughts severally affect crops and livestock, threaten the supply of drinking water, and spark bushfires. The epic Millennium drought triggered Australians to take action to reduce water consumption, including building desalination plants, grey-water recycling initiatives, capturing storm water with tanks, changes in irrigation allocation and other efficiency measures.
Near-Waterless Laundry System Now Available
Australians continue to seek out water efficiency options. A new technology is now available in Australia to reduce water usage. An innovative near-waterless laundry system from Xeros provides a perfect solution for hotels and industrial laundries looking to reduce their water and energy consumption.
This revolutionary new laundry system replaces water with polymer spheres to dramatically cut the amount of water used to clean laundry. The polymer spheres replace about 80 percent of the water and also significantly cut the amount of electricity and detergent needed to wash the laundry as well. By combining the spheres’ molecular structure with a proprietary detergent solution, dirt from soiled items is attracted and absorbed by the spheres, producing cleaner results in ambient water. The reusable spheres have a lifespan of hundreds of washes before being collected and recycled. The patented, award-winning system uses 80% less water, up to 50% less energy, and approximately 50% less detergent than traditional systems.