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Water use in Sydney vs Melbourne

Michael is joined by Dr Ian Wright, Senior Lecturer in Environmental Science, Western Sydney University to discuss why it seems that Sydneysiders are using 30% more water per day than Melburnians.

He recently wrote in The Conversation… ‘this week Melbourne’s water storage dropped below 50%, a sign of the prolonged and deepening drought gripping eastern Australia. Sydney is only marginally better off, at 53.8% of full storage’.

Along with many regional towns across southeastern Australia, the two largest capital city water supplies are steadily shrinking.

But while Melbourne’s water levels are lower, if we look at the last 12 months we see another story: Sydney has plummeted from 72.3% to 53.8%, while Melbourne has only dropped from 58.9%.

Melbourne’s average residential water consumption is 161 litres per person per day. In Sydney, for 2018, it was 210 litres per person. That is nearly 50 litres more per person – a difference of about 30%!

So why do Sydney residents use so much more water than people in Melbourne?

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