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Monday, 22 June 2009
Page: 3972

Senator Milne asked the Minister for Climate Change and Water, upon notice, on 26 May 2009:

(1)   How many tonnes of greenhouse gases are generated to produce one mega litre of potable drinking water in Australia.

(2)   Given the National Plumbing Regulators Forum is urgently seeking funding to conduct drain flow tests at the Canberra Technical College to understand the increasing problems drains are experiencing from decreasing water flows causing increased blockages and associated serious health issues, when is the Minister going to make a decision on funding this urgent testing.

Senator Wong (Minister for Climate Change and Water) —The answer to the honourable senator’s question is as follows:

(1)   There is no single answer to this question. The type of water source (for example dam, river, ocean, rainwater tank), the pumping distances, pipe dimensions and topography from source to users, and the level of water treatment required all affect the carbon intensity of producing drinking water.         The National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting (NGER) Act 2007 established a mandatory reporting system for greenhouse gas emissions, energy consumption and production. Water utilities may be required to register and report from the 2008-09 financial year if they meet one of the relevant thresholds.

(2)   We are not aware of this funding proposal from the National Plumbing Regulators Forum.