Rainwater Harvesting and 21st Century Business

development illustrationThe largest master planned community housing project in Australia is starting to roll out in South East Queensland and every building has rainwater harvesting. The sell out crowd hung onto every word as Mark Stephens from the Stockland Aura development talked about the Stockland philosophy and the key role of integrated water management in this sensitive landscape.

How to Water your Garden

Garden WateringA sustainable approach to water includes not only where your water comes from but how you use it. Some simple advice will help you use your valuable water to make a great garden. Before you even consider watering, push aside the mulch, stick your finger into the soil – if it is moist below the surface you don’t need to water. This is a repost of one of our most popular posts with over 5,000 reads.

How to live in your house

Rooftop with solar panelsSaving water and energy is a consistent element of the every sustainable house in Australia. But sustainable houses are often stereotyped as unusual, as if the houses and their inhabitants are somehow not like the rest of us and have achieved something we cannot do. And yet over one million houses in Australia have solar panels and 2.3 million houses have a rainwater tank. The following home owners show that caring about our impact on the planet and the future for our children puts money in your pocket and is easily achieved with existing technology. 

Who you gonna call?

Bush Tank StandBack in the day…. we all maintained our water tanks beautifully and whittled our own furniture in the long summer evenings. In the modern world however we sometimes need a hand making sure we are getting the best from our rainwater harvesting systems.

Rainwater Harvesting System Maintenance – Pumps

Mains Switching SystemThe second in our series of maintenance articles for rainwater harvesting systems is on pumps. Pumps are one of the expensive and vulnerable elements of the rain harvesting system. It is worth getting a good one and installing it properly. We had a coffee with Mike Thompson, from Claytech, who took us through some things to think about.

Rainwater Harvesting System Maintenance – Design

“The key issue is that good design based on real historical knowledge avoids most of the perceived maintenance problems – a high level of costly (and unnecessary) maintenance to counter marginal/ill-informed design choices is a very poor outcome indeed”. Dr. Peter Coombes, March 2014, Sydney RHAA Breakfast. Good design is a simple way to ensure rainwater is healthy, clean, clear and doesn’t smell.

A Rolls Royce Vegetable Bed

Photo of steel garden bed with overhanging vegetablesI am sure many of you will have seen the Wicking Garden Beds promoted on Gardening Australia from time to time. These are Rolls Royce garden beds. Its not all plain sailing though, at the end of the post is a controversial update!

The great price war: electricity vs water

running showerheadThis is a guest blog from Tim Sparke at with some good advice about pump selection. When it comes to making sure that your home has access to a reliable water supply, there are two factors to consider. The first is how much water your home is going to need (ATA Tankulator is a good start). The second is how much electricity you can expect to burn through. The latter is important to both our beautiful natural environment, and your wallet!

Melbourne couple make the most of rainwater

Roses in Carol's gardenIt was a warm day in early November when I drove out to one of Melbourne’s North Eastern suburbs to meet Carol and her partner, Peter. Carol is a budding artist, while Peter is a musical genius on the piano, but the reason I was there can be found in their garden. Carol and Peter had kindly offered to show me their rainwater tanks.

Water Sources: Greywater

greywaterAs National Water Week draws to a close, we have one last water source to cover off – greywater! What is greywater? Greywater (or grey water) is typically water from baths, showers, hand basins, and washing machines. It does not include water from the toilet. Water from kitchen sinks and dishwashers